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Denver’s Proposed Social-Use Rules Draw Heavy Criticism

By June 15, 2017 No Comments
A man uses a lighter and glass pipe to smoke some cannabis.

Denver, Colorado’s proposed social use rules are so restrictive that the director for the Initiative 300 campaign – approved by 53.7 percent of city voters during November’s election – said “99 percent” of interested businesses would not apply for a social consumption license under the rules, according to a Denver Post report.

Included in the proposal are national criminal background check requirements for on-site employees; compliance with the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act; evidence of community support; restrictions on advertising; and a security plan.

Emmett Reistroffer, the campaign director, argued that business owners would not spend the thousands of dollars necessary for clean-air systems, walled patios, and security measures when the profit margins are questionable.

“When I read the rules today, we can’t even get off the ground,” he said in the report.

Additionally, the rules bar social consumption areas from being located within 1,000 feet of child care businesses, city-owned recreation areas and pools, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities. Businesses that serve alcohol would also be unable to receive a social-use permit. Advocates argue that the zoning regulations force social consumption businesses to mostly industrial zones.

“We’re still fighting to overcome stigma that is rooted in a history of prohibition, and now it appears the city is trying to keep consumers hidden and as far away from the mainstream as possible,” Reistroffer said.

Under the measure, social-use businesses would not be allowed to sell cannabis directly to consumers; instead, they would have to bring their own and sign a waiver to consume.

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