Yesterday, U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Jeff Dorschner implied that the 23 dispensaries issued shut-down letters had stopped doing business at their previous locations, within 1,000 feet from schools. While some centers have relocated, others have shut their doors permanently.
AMCH is moving just a few blocks east, taking over the former space occupied by the (overpriced) head shop named Head Quarters. Calls to AMCH weren't immediately returned, but a message on the center's answering machine thanked customers for their patience and said the operation could re-open as early as tomorrow in its new digs.
Rocky Mountain High in Cherry Creek, which is just down the street from Bromwell Elementary School, will be shutting down cannabis sales at that location. But the company will still continue to operate six other locations in Colorado.
Others haven't been as fortunate. Tad Bowler was owner of the now-shuttered Med Stop on 8th Avenue, which was within 1,000 feet of Denver's West High School. Bowler held a big sale over the past weekend, dumping his entire inventory for as low as $100 an ounce. Bowler was hopeful over the weekend that a solution could be found, but a possible deal that would have meant moving Med Stop and saving the business fell through at the last minute.
By Monday, his shop was locked up and he was busy destroying fully grown cannabis plants -- something Bowler calls heartbreakingly sad. Even worse, he says he had to stuff the plants into hemp bags for disposal by state officials.
Though Bowler is part owner of a dispensary in Colorado Springs ironically named Rocky Roads, he says Med Stop shutting down means he's losing nearly everything. He has no plans to reopen a shop in Denver. "Forget it. You can have it," Bowler declares. "Screw this fucking city. I don't need this crap. It's a dumb, dumb business and Colorado is really fucked up."
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Bowler points to the fact that Med Stop was one of 55 medical marijuana centers actually licensed by the state despite his location near several schools. But he doesn't blame the state's Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division. Instead, he's upset with big money interests and the medical marijuana dispensary lobby.
"It's our politicians, not MMED," he said. "It's them who created the rules in such a god-awful way. They are impossible to follow and impossible for MMED to enforce. It is so convoluted that they would have to redo this system from top to bottom for it to right itself. But the damage has been done for me."
And with more letters being promised by the U.S. Attorney's Office, he's probably not alone.