Marijuana Clubs Moratorium Moves On in Springs: What's It Mean for Denver?

Earlier this month, the backers of the Limited Social Marijuana Consumption Initiative, which would have allowed commercial establishments in Denver to offer a setting for cannabis consumption, unexpectedly withdrew the measure.

The reason, according to proponent Mason Tvert? "City and business leaders agreed to work with initiative backers to develop a social cannabis consumption law that reflects the interests and concerns of all stakeholders."

Since then, neither the initiative's original sponsors nor city representatives have gone public about progress toward this goal.

But in Colorado Springs, where marijuana clubs such as Studio A64 have been operating for some time, the city council has just voted to place a six-month moratorium on new venues of this type.

As noted by KOAA-TV, the man behind the effort is Councilman Don Knight, who became concerned after a constituent complained about a new marijuana club moving into a shopping center near his home.

The station points out that while breweries and bars must go through a notification protocol prior to opening up for business in Springs locations, there's no such requirement at present for marijuana clubs.

We've included Knight's proposed ordinance below, and as you'll see, the language it contains has a pejorative tone at times.

One section maintains that "the increasing number of and new types of uses for medical marijuana facilities has created increasing health, safety and welfare concerns throughout the City." 

Another reads, "City Council finds and determines a situation affecting the life, health, property, and the public peace exists in that the City does not have comprehensive and adequate zoning or land use regulations in place that specifically define, regulate or mitigate the impacts of marijuana consumption club facilities to preserve the public health, safety and welfare."

The City of Colorado Springs is reportedly working on a new medical marijuana codes that would include a section about pot clubs. Hence, a 7-2 vote in favor of the six-month moratorium.

The deal isn't done quite yet. The vote, held on Tuesday, September 22, represented a first reading, and the council will address it again in three weeks.

Whether we'll know anything more about a deal for such clubs in Denver, where the Limited Social Marijuana Consumption Initiative looked likely to pass before it was stripped from the ballot, remains unclear.

Here's Knight's proposed ordinance.

Colorado Springs Marijuana Club Moratorium Proposal

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts