The dispensary application process seems a lot like a visit to the DMV. You show up knowing that it's going to be a pain in the ass, go through line after line, each time praying it will be the last. Finally, you cut a check to someone in the hope that the state has enough of its act together to send you a new driver's license -- but with a little less faith in humanity.
Last week, 45 medical marijuana businesses were told by Denver officials that they were eligible to finally begin applying through the city, starting yesterday. The only problem is, the application forms still aren't available online or in person at the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses. Officials have said they are having issues with their computer system and should have them up this week.
A few weeks back, we followed Denver Excise and Licenses director Tom Downey and several other employees as they went over to the state Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division offices to look at Denver dispensary applications for state licenses. The plan was to weed out the dispensaries, grows and infused product kitchens that won't make the cut on the city level due to a variety of reasons -- mostly zoning issues, but also the timing of when the dispensaries opened.
This meant applications weren't necessarily tackled in the order received, but by how easy it was for city officials to process them. Downey said the move also prevented the city from accepting applications and application fees from centers that clearly wouldn't have garnered approval, thus saving the city from paying costly refunds.
Downey and his team went through and made the initial two rounds of cuts, leaving 41 medical marijuana centers and four marijuana infused product (MIP) locations eligible to apply with the City of Denver. Downey announced the survivors last week at the Medical Marijuana Workgroup meeting, a town hall of sorts involving city and state officials and marijuana industry business representatives.
The delay was a minor inconvenience for Anna Cozy, owner of Colorado Alternative Medicine on South Broadway, which is one of the 41 shops wit pre-approval. Cozy noted that Excise and Licenses only has one full-time person on medical marijuana. "If anything, I would like to see her get a little help," she says.
"We can't be impatient. It's a learning experience right now for everyone," she continues. "We just have to give them that leeway and we have to give them the benefit of the doubt. You know, give them positive reinforcement instead of constantly complaining."
1. Colorado Alternative Medicine 2. Summit Wellness 3. The Grasshopper Wellness Center 4. Alternative Medicine on Capitol Hill 5. Denver Patients Group 6. Colorado Farms 7. Cannabis Medical Technology 8. Colorado Care Facility 9. Dank 10. Patients Plus 11. Sunnyside Alternative Medicine 12. Medicine Man Production 13. The Tea Pot Lounge 14. 3-D Denver's Discreet Dispensary 15. Colorado Alternative Remedy Experts 16. The Herbal Center 17. Canna Center 18. Amsterdam Café 19. Herbs 4 You 20. Alameda Wellness Center 21. Cure Medical Pharm 22. Colorado Wellness Centers 23. Metro Cannabis 24. The Clinic 25. Botanico 26. Chronic Wellness 27. The Clinic -- Highlands Wellness Center 28. The Clinic -- Holly Medicinal Services 29. Green Cross of Cherry Creek 30. CG Network 31. Med Stop 32. At Home Remedies 33. Citi-med 34. Mile High Therapeutic Network 35. Universal Herbs 36. Ivita Wellness 37. Ivita Wellness 38. The Wellness Shop 39. Greener Pasture Compassion Center 40. Lotus Medical 41. Little Brown House
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Denver MIPS pre-approved and eligible to go through the application process:
1. Dr. J's 2. Eleutherian Enterprises 3. The Wellness Shop 4. Simply Pure
More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana: Study shows dispensaries may create safer neighborhoods."