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The original item was published from 1/6/2010 4:58:13 PM to 7/6/2010 8:36:11 AM.

News and Announcements

News and Announcements

Posted on: January 6, 2010

[ARCHIVED] Moratorium placed on new marijuana businesses; Plants 4 Life may dispense marijuana

Recently, an Arapahoe County judge found that the City of Centennial could not rely on the application of federal law to prohibit a medical marijuana dispensary from operating within that city.

That finding led to two developments in Castle Rock this week regarding medical marijuana dispensaries:

1) Town Council on Tuesday adopted an ordinance to temporarily prohibit any additional medical marijuana dispensaries in Town for 180 days to allow time to develop a proposed regulatory structure.

2) Town Clerk Sally Misare on Wednesday amended her Dec. 19 order to reverse the limitations placed on the business and tax license for Plants 4 Life LLC, effective immediately.

The temporary suspension went immediately into effect Tuesday. It means “all departments and officers of the Town of Castle Rock are prohibited from conducting pre-application conferences, accepting, processing and/or otherwise approving or acting upon any … Town approval, license or permit currently required for or applicable to medical marijuana commerce under current Code provisions and Town regulations.”

Douglas County and several other area municipalities, including Lone Tree and Parker, have similar suspensions in effect.

Locally, the suspension will give Town staff sufficient time to complete an assessment and recommendation on appropriate and necessary medical marijuana commerce regulations.

No additional medical marijuana commerce will be established in Town until Council can consider and enact regulations. However, the suspension will not apply to or affect medical marijuana commerce that has all required Town approvals, permits and licenses.

The Plants 4 Life license to operate a medical marijuana dispensary was reinstated as a result of last week’s ruling in the Arapahoe County District Court, Frasher, et al. v. City of Centennial – apparently the first finding by a court of any level in Colorado deciding local governments do not have the authority to prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries on the basis that the activities conducted by the businesses violate federal law.

Various other legal proceedings could play out in the coming months, and the State Legislature is expected to further engage related issues, which continue to emerge.

Colorado voters in 2000 approved Amendment 20 to the Colorado Constitution, which allows caregivers to provide medical marijuana to patients suffering from “debilitating medical conditions” who have state-issued registry cards. However, the dispensaries did not become common throughout the state until this year, when the federal government ended its enforcement of dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is allowed.

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