Denver Wrestles With Question of New Cannabis Business Moratorium

Denver has stepped back from extending a moratorium on new businesses in the city’s cannabis market.

Since the inception of Colorado’s recreational marijuana market two years ago, only medical marijuana businesses that were already in business have been permitted to open recreational stores or grow and processing operations.

That was all set to change on January 1st of next year, but the city proposed extending the moratorium for another two years. Faced with opposition from certain marijuana businesses and, city officials approved a fourth-month extension of the moratorium so as to study industry data on the issue.

“We want more time to study the impact of the industry and allow the city time to adjust to more than 440 marijuana businesses here,” said mayoral adviser Ashley Kilroy.

Some say that even the fourth-month moratorium is problematic for those entrepreneurs who had been planning for the January 1st license application deadline. Loren Davis, an attorney who specializes in marijuana law, said that “it’s downright irresponsible to extend this moratorium at this late date. There are tens of dozens of business owners who have planned on that Jan. 1 deadline.”


Photo Credit: Sheila Sund

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