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Sensi Magazine

A Call to Action Against Denver Cannabis Closing Times

Sep 28, 2016 12:22PM ● By Leland Rucker

Denver cannabis dispensaries have to close at 7 p.m., while stores outside the city limits in other communities and suburbs around the city stay open later, and Wanda James is pissed off about it.

James, who owns the Simply Pure store in Highlands with her husband, Scott Durrah, posted an open letter on Facebook this morning asking patients and customers to demand that the Denver City Council allow dispensaries to stay open until 10 p.m. She says it’s bad for the businesses themselves, which are losing customers, and it’s equally bad for the city of Denver. Stores in surrounding cities do 38–42 percent of their sales between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., which means that, besides hurting businesses, the city of Denver is cheating itself out of tax revenue.

“Are you aware that Denver is requiring a 7 p.m. closing time, which makes no sense at all and is costing businesses and the city tax dollars and costing the patients a huge inconvenience? Our dispensaries are forced to close before most people get home from work,” she wrote. “Why is it the city councils of Edgewater, Glendale and other surrounding cities have chosen to support their cannabis business owners, yet Denver city council wants to treat us like second-class businesses, even though we are responsible for the boom in tax revenue and tourism?”

She says that dispensaries in business districts with bars, restaurants and liquor stores have to close early while any other business can stay open. “What sense does this make? This is an unfair business practice, with no basis in safety. This change needs to happen quickly.”

Denver’s regulations on closing time are among the strictest in the state. The only other northern Colorado municipality that stops sales at 7 p.m. is Boulder. But even in Boulder’s heavy regulatory atmosphere, an advisory committee last month recommended that the city allow cannabis businesses to remain open until 10 p.m., mostly because there is no reason not to.

“I would like a coalition of Denver dispensaries, patients and customers to demand that we are treated as other surrounding cities,” James writes. She’s asking supporters to email her ASAP at [email protected].

What argument can there be against this? Amendment 64 is absolutely clear about the issue. Its title reads: Regulate marijuana like alcohol.

That’s all James is asking for.