Thursday, February 18, 2010

Medical marijuana dispensaries will soon need papers

The medical marijuana industry in Denver has already been compared to
the wild, wild West -- but those land offices where miners and
homesteaders competed to file claims may look mild compared to the
Wellington E. Webb building next week, when the city starts accepting
medical marijuana dispensary licenses on February 8.

Under the city ordinance approved last month, all dispensaries operating
in the city must file such an application by March 1.

This is in addition to the standard city sales-tax license that
dispensaries had to apply for by December 15 in order to be exempted
from certain provisions in the ordinance, including a 1,000-foot buffer
zone between dispensaries and schools, day-care centers and even other

At last count, more than 400 dispensaries had applied for their
sales-tax license. Now, in order to stay in business, they'll need to
apply for a dispensary-specific license, too -- and when they do,
they'll need to present not just their sales tax license, but a lease or
deed, a floor plan, a security plan, an area map, a zoning permit, a
burglar-alarm permit and the fingerprints of the people who own 10
percent of the business for a background check -- which means those
people will need to show up, too.

"To avoid processing delays and applicant disqualifications, it's
extremely important that applicants for this license submit complete
applications, including all required documents," says Penny May,
director of Excise & Licenses, who could soon be the busiest woman in
the city. That's because her office has a deadline just three weeks
after that February 8 start to accepting applications.

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