Medical marijuana dispensaries could pay Denver $2.5 million for pot

"We know we're on the right track if nobody's happy," says state representative Tom Massey of his medical marijuana proposal, and he's right about one thing: No one's happy.

Supporters of medical marijuana will be sharing their unhappiness at a Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation meeting at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the community room at the Peace in Medicine Center, 2042 Arapahoe Street in Denver.

According to CMMR's Matt Brown, "We will be going through Representative Massey's new dispensary regulations bill, discussing the various legislative efforts being made to change portions of this bill and answering any questions you might have."

In the meantime, Brown has a question of his own: What's happening with the money that Denver is collecting as dispensaries file for their licenses? "Now that the city is accepting applications (and fee payments), I'm hearing a lot of people asking about the fees and why we still haven't gotten much clarification on the total amount," he writes via e-mail. "At $5,000/application and 300 Denver licensees, it seems hard to believe the city would need $1.5M for those new expenses."

And the number of $5,000 payments (which includes both a one-time application fee and a one-year license) could go much higher -- as of Monday morning,484 dispensary operations had Denver sales-tax licenses. In order to operate after March 1, they'll all need to file dispensary applications -- and pay those hefty fees -- by then.

At that rate, Denver could collect close to $2.5 million from dispensaries -- the same amount Colorado uses to police 12,500 liquor licenses across the state.

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