MMJ Dispensaries Play the Dual Role of Cash Cow and Nuisance

January 11 2011, 2:00 PM

If you want to gauge the success of the state's medical marijuana businesses, look no further than Boulder, which in the first 10 months of 2010 reaped $444,777 in sales tax from nearly 120 licensed dispensaries. Or maybe the real success story is Longmont, where just nine dispensaries raked in more than $61,000 in taxes, more than twice the amount per dispensary than Boulder, tallies the Daily Times-Call. One reason might be market intervention. Longmont revenue manager Ezequiel Vasquez says "there's less competition" in his city, in part because of a moratorium on new dispensaries, which has been in place for more than a year but could change in coming months.

In Larimer County, another local law is keeping the Organic Solutions dispensary from opening its doors, despite the business' stellar presentation to the county commissioners, writes the Loveland Reporter-Herald. Dispensaries in Larimer must be 500 feet from the nearest residence, but Organic Solutions' proposed location is just 484 feet away.

Meanwhile, state Attorney General John Suthers continues his assault on medical marijuana, suggesting a link between legitimate businesses and illegal drug dealing following the recent bust of an alleged drug ring (via Westword). "This case counters the contention among marijuana advocates and some public officials that a regulated medical marijuana system will undercut the illicit market for marijuana," Suthers claims. But MMJ advocates aren't amused, and attorney Brian Vicente thinks Suthers should "get a life." At the same time, licensing remains controversial in Denver, where the city council is divided over where to allow growing facilities to operate, reports The Denver Post.