Denver pot shops could stay open until midnight under council committee proposal

DENVER – Denverites wouldn’t have to drive to Glendale or Edgewater for their late-night marijuana runs if a proposed bill under discussion Monday in the city council’s special-issue marijuana committee becomes law.

The committee met Monday afternoon to hear the bill that would allow Denver’s recreational and medical marijuana shops to stay open until midnight. But it decided to postpone action on the bill to take more time to discuss it.

Should it pass, it would give people an extra five hours each day to shop for pot, and extra time to profit off sales for city pot businesses. Denver's shops are currently open until 7 p.m., as are Colorado Springs' medical shops.

Glendale and Edgewater already allow their shops to stay open until midnight, while shops in Aurora, Boulder and Commerce City can stay open until 10 p.m.

When the state legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, it said shops could be open from 8 a.m. until midnight each day, but it also allowed municipalities to determine the hours the shops would stay open.

And in 2015, the state allowed medical shops to stay open for the same hours as recreational shops.

Discussions to keep Denver’s shops open longer have been ongoing for years, but took a step forward in January, when the proposal first was discussed.

Kristi Kelly, the head of the Marijuana Industry Group, is slated to present at Monday’s hearing, as are other marijuana industry leaders and the city attorney’s office.

Proponents of extending shop hours have argued doing so would make the city more competitive with its neighbors, despite the city having raked in about half of last year’s sales statewide.

A Denver Post questionnaire done ahead of the last city council election found many of the current councilors said they would at least consider extending marijuana shop hours.

The bill's next hearing date has yet to be set.

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