Castle Rock's Plants 4 Life has been fighting attempts to shutter it since last year. Recently, Rob Corry, attorney for the dispensary, issued a notice to sue the city if officials didn't back off an order to close the business on December 31. But the dispensary's owner has another strategy to stay open: a petition drive.
"My dispensary has a business license," says the owner, who asks that her name not be used, "but the town council decided on September 14 to ban it anyway, by a narrow 4-3 margin. So we're trying to collect signatures to petition their 4-3 ruling. That would take it to a public vote."
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Does that mean she's giving up on the possibility of a lawsuit? Not at all. "We're doing everything we can, because we have 1,000 patients, and closing would be a huge problem for them. A lot of them have cancer, they have MS, they're vets who don't drive, and they'll either have to find some kind of caregiver who doesn't have all the different strains they might need, or they'll have to find a ride to the nearest dispensary, which is in Franktown, a good 25 minutes away."
It took several tries for Castle Rock to approve the Plants 4 Life petition, and now, the owner's only got until October 14 -- a week from today -- to collect 1,500 signatures from Castle Rock residents.
If the petition drive falls short, a lawsuit still offers the prospect of a remedy. "Rob would probably sue for a temporary restraining order in a month or so, to bring it in front of a judge to decide," she says. "If that happens, we could remain open" at least until a decision. This would likely remain true as well if the owner is able to collect enough signatures. Since it's too late to add a new item to the November 2 ballot, success would probably necessitate a new vote at some future point -- perhaps after December 31.
"I'm really going to be beating the pavement this Friday, Saturday and Sunday," she says -- and she's hoping volunteers will help her do so. She asks interested parties to contact her at 303-999-0276 or firstname.lastname@example.org.