Denver considers location cap on pot shops

Posted at 5:48 AM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 07:58:12-05

Denver City Council members want to replace a moratorium restricting the growth of the state's largest legal marijuana market with caps that they argue would protect saturated neighborhoods.

In some ways, the upshot of setting location caps on dispensaries and grow houses — both citywide and within smaller geographic areas — would be similar to the recently expanded moratorium, which bars new players from entering the market.

But supporters who are hammering out details, including how to set the limits, point to key differences: The caps would allow some new business owners to dive in without increasing the number of locations. They also would offer more protection to low-income neighborhoods with industrial areas that complain about cultivation odors.

And by limiting locations, the new rules would encourage the industry to convert medical marijuana dispensaries to recreational shops, which face more regulation and charge higher taxes.

Councilwoman Robin Kniech unveiled the outlines of her ideas Monday in the council s Marijuana Moratorium Committee. They haven t been drafted yet into a formal proposal.

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