Medical marijuana: Mile High Marketplace not high enough for Cannabis University & MMJ?

You can find just about everything you want at Mile High Marketplace, that collection of kitsch north of downtown Denver at I-76 and 88th Avenue that's long been a local institution (and in our hearts, will always be known by its old name, the Mile High Flea Market). Just about everything, that is, except anything pertaining to medical marijuana.

Michelle LaMay, dean of Cannabis University, a local medical-marijuana education program, learned that the hard way this past Sunday. She and a colleague had barely set up the table in the space they'd reserved to advertise their wares and services when Marketplace managers and security guards stopped by and said that since this was "a family place" and someone had made a complaint, Cannabis University would have to leave -- even though LaMay had run a similar booth at the flea market a few months ago without problem.

LaMay's booth, which featured a large "Cannabis University" banner, program materials and "Cannabis University Honor Student" apparel for sale, violated Commerce City's zoning regulations for the area, as well as Mile High Marketplace's seller guidelines, says Patty Beyers, spokesperson for Mile High Marketplace. "Mile High Marketplace's seller guidelines state no drugs or drug paraphernalia (sale or display), pornography of any kind (sale or display), guns and ammunition (sale or display), cigarette or tobacco (sale or display) and live animals," she noted in an e-mail.

Funny: We could have sworn we've spotted bedazzled pot-leaf shirts for sale at the flea market in the past.

The $33 table-registration fee LaMay paid was returned, but she's not going away quietly. She's planning on launching the same sort of protest campaign that targeted the Town Center of Aurora this past summer after a man was banned from the mall for wearing a "Yes We Cannabis" T-shirt. Then again, if the Marketplace has a change of heart about pot paraphernalia, LaMay is willing to lend a hand. "I will hold a training seminar if they want to hire me," says the self-professed "Dean of Green."

In the meantime, though, it looks like the Mile High Marketplace isn't high enough for MMJ.

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Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner