As communities around the state struggle with what to do about proliferating marijuana dispensaries, some cities and towns are washing their hands of the whole thing by banning them outright or instituting temporary moratoriums. Now, however, some of the dispensaries threatened by these developments are fighting back.
As we reported on Monday, CannaMart, a Centennial-based dispensary, has filed a lawsuit against the local city government for forcing the business to close in October.
Now another fight is gearing up over a dispensary ban in Westminster.
This fall, Westminster passed a ninety-day moratorium on new dispensaries opening up while city staff consider regulating the industry. But Westminster's city council is considering banning dispensaries outright -- which would mean at least two fairly long-running local dispensaries, Herbal Remedies and the Healing Center, would have to shut their doors.
The council is set to vote on the issue on Monday, December 14 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at Westminster City Hall, 4800 West 92nd Avenue in Westminster. But before that happens, the dispensaries on the chopping block are planning on fighting back.
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"It's a little disheartening that all these suspicions and assumptions are putting us out of business," says Julia Sepulveda of Herbal Remedies. "They've suggested we move to Commerce City. They do not want us there."
If the operations are kicked out, that would be bad news for many local patients as well as Westminster's coffers, says Sepulveda: Herbal Remedies is projecting to generate almost $50,000 in sales tax revenue for the city next year.
To get their points across, Herbal Remedies, the Healing Center and their supporters are planning a rally on December 7. Participants will be meeting at Herbal Remedies, 3200 west 72nd Avenue, Westminster, at 5 p.m. Then everyone will be transported to city hall, where they'll stand up for their rights before the city council's study session at 6:30 p.m.
"We are in this together," says Sepulveda -- and they won't be going down quietly.