The Denver, Colorado City Council has approved a new cannabis business license for research and development, Denverite reports. Denver Department of Excise and Licenses executive director Ashley Kilroy called the license type “important” and would keep the city “at the forefront” of the industry.
The measure had one holdout on the city council, Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca, who said the license should be open only to Colorado residents and without that requirement, the licenses would be scooped up by tobacco or pharmaceutical companies.
The state passed a law in 2017 that includes cannabis R&D licensing but, according to a Denver Post report, only one company – MedPharm Holdings – has ever applied for the license. According to the report, Medpharm was granted a state R&D license in 2018 anticipating Denver would allow the licenses.
MedPharm told the Post that it plans to test the effect of cannabinoids on Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
Denver is in the midst of updating its cannabis rules, which will include a lottery for new retail licenses and social equity rules, according to Denverite. Kilroy said the city is still working on how to define “social equity applicant.”
City licensing department spokesperson Eric Escudero called social equity the city’s “number one focus” when it comes to Denver’s cannabis industry.
Officials are also considering increasing the hours that dispensaries are allowed to stay open. Currently, dispensaries are only allowed to operate until 10 p.m. and some stakeholders are asking to push that to midnight. Kilroy said that the last time the city allowed later store hours, crimes against dispensaries increased.