Medical Marijuana Moratorium To Take Effect
After Thursday, No More Medical Marijuana Business Licenses Until July 2011
Last Updated: 1058 days ago
A one-year ban on issuing medical marijuana business licenses takes effect this week in Colorado.Unless a person has applied for, or has already been approved for a medical marijuana business license by the end of business Thursday, they won't be allowed to go through the application process until July 2011.A new state law that takes effect Thursday puts a yearlong moratorium on medical marijuana business licenses."Close of business (Thursday), we will not accept anymore dispensary applications," said Penny May, director of Excise and Licenses in Denver. "In the last week or two, (we've had) probably 12 to 15 new applications."Through last week, Denver had approved 66 dispensary applications, and had more than 200 waiting to be reviewed. The license costs $2,000, which is non-refundable, just for the application and another $3,000 in fees. So far, Denver has collected more than $1.5 million in application costs and fees.That money will stop being collected at 4 p.m. Thursday when Denver stops accepting applications. State lawmakers and local jurisdictions will spend the next year working on further regulating medical marijuana dispensaries and grow operations."It kind of creates a timeout situation while we're getting our act together, to get local ordinances in place, get local procedures and manpower in place," said David Broadwell, assistant Denver city attorney.Right now, Denver only regulates dispensaries but doesn't have any legal language in place to regulate grow sites or manufacturing operations."The particular problem exists, not for (dispensaries), but for the other branches of the industry; the growers and the manufacturers, for whom we currently have no specific licensing category," said Broadwell. "In no way, shape or form were we able to adopt a licensing category for those guys prior to this July 1 deadline."Medical marijuana growers are in a bit of a gray area. Unless they were licensed before July 1, they won't be able to be licensed until July 2011. Without a specific grow license in place, it's unclear what type of license, if any, medical marijuana growers needed before the moratorium."There's tremendous ambiguity in the short, short term about who's legal on and after July 1," said Broadwell.There are other deadlines for dispensary license holders, besides July 1. By Aug.1, those who run dispensaries must apply for a state dispensary license. By Sept. 1, dispensary owners must prove that at least 70 percent of their marijuana is self-cultivated.