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Medical marijuana: Boulder Meds owner says license denied because of state error

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Boulder Meds owner Jay Epstein says his business application with the city of Boulder was denied because of a false charge on his Colorado Bureau of Investigations report.

Additionally, Epstein says the city has refused to hear his appeal.

In a last-ditch effort to save his business, Epstein will make his case before Boulder City Council at tonight's 6 p.m. meeting, taking place at 1770 Broadway. He urges patients who have been helped by his dispensary to come out and show their support.

According to Epstein, his denial followed a CBI background check that turned up a charge of assaulting a police officer. He says nothing of the sort ever happened, maintaining that the claim has now been wiped off his record. He insists he should be considered in "good moral standing" with the city, pointing out that he worked for ten years as a bartender at Mamacita's On the Hill, his family restaurant in Boulder, without receiving any violations.

Compounding his frustration, he says, is that he has already passed the background check for the state and was approved for his Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division ID badge. "How can the state approve me and the city deny me?" he asks.

Epstein says he appealed Boulder's decision in April through his attorney within the ten-day time period allowed by law. However, he acknowledges that the lawyer waited until the last minute to file, and when he did, he didn't submit all of the necessary paperwork. His attorney was allegedly granted an extension to get the needed information turned in, but the city denied the appeal before he could do so.

The city's take? According to spokeswoman Sara Huntley, the application from Boulder Meds was "significantly incomplete" even after the shop had been given plenty of opportunity to comply. She notes that there were multiple flags in the CBI background check, and that giving Boulder Meds extra time would not have been fair to other applicants. Boulder district court agrees, and on July 14, it ruled that Boulder Meds "was treated exactly the same way others in similar circumstances were treated."

Huntley says the case is pretty cut-and-dried from the city's perspective, and she doubts Epstein will be given any more chances. "He has lost his appeal in the court of law," she said. "And now he's trying to win in the court of public opinion."

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Kurt Riggin: Supreme Court rejects contempt charge in Park County medical marijuana case."

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