For the first time ever, a Denver marijuana grow house's license was revoked following negative feedback from neighbors. The decision is a victory for neighbors but Starbuds' owner Brian Ruden said he's not going down without a fight.
The Department of Excise and Licenses issued the decision to deny the renewal after a public hearing and review.
"The facility has negatively affected nearby properties and the neighborhood in general. The denial was based on the entirety of the evidence presented to the department and through the public hearing process, which included a high level of neighborhood opposition," said Dan Rowland with the City of Denver.
Starbuds owns a store and grow located near Brighton Boulevard and Interstate 70. The business has occupied the space for three years, the building was previously vacant. It is in a largely impoverished and Hispanic neighborhood known as Elyria.
"They’ll be a lot of cultivations up for renewal in this very neighborhood and if the city can simply take their license away that’s a bit scary," said Ruden.
Ruden plans to file an appeal immediately and has already been in contact with his attorneys.
City documents show the marijuana grow was also at odds with an overall neighborhood revitalization plan. The decision also states the grow is not allowed due to zoning, an issue Ruden contests.
"I'm glad they can’t grow it no more cause the odor," said Vance Holliday, a resident.
Elyria resident Allison Anderson says she is not against marijuana, but also wants room for other businesses.
The decision released Thursday follows a Denver City Council decision earlier this year to cap stores and grow operations amid concerns some neighborhoods, particularly those that are largely poor and minority, feel overwhelmed by the marijuana industry.