This is your chance to tell Denver City Council to put the brakes on marijuana commercialization. Make your voices heard!

Send emails to the following City Council members…

Who: The City Council’s Business Development Committee will be discussing and voting on Mayor Michael Hancock’s proposal to limit commercialization in Denver.

What: The Mayor’s proposal would limit marijuana licenses issued in Denver. This includes a two-year moratorium on all new medical marijuana licenses (including shops and grow houses) and an extension of the transition phase for recreational marijuana, which limits new businesses from entering the market. Importantly, it also provides for more robust community engagement when it comes to the hearing process.

When: 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 24. Public comment (no more than 2 minutes) will be heard. If you would like to speak, please arrive by 10:15 a.m. to sign up.

Where: City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St., Room 391.

Why: An Industry Bulletin from the city cites its belief that Denver has “reached a saturation point. The proposed changes allow flexibility and the opportunity to incorporate lessons we’ve learned and to evolve our policies.”

Yet, the marijuana businesses are in full force, lobbying City Council to ensure that the Mayor’s plan does not pass — or that the language is watered down in a way that would expand commercialization and the number of marijuana businesses operating in Denver, while at the same time preventing community involvement in the hearing process.

Please send emails, to let your voice be heard, prior to Tuesday morning’s hearing. For more background, here’s a fact sheet and the Industry Bulletin from the Mayor’s office.

Comments you may want to include in your email when asking City Council members to support the Mayor’s proposal, with no weakening amendments, include:

  • City Council needs to put the health and well-being of Denver’s youth ahead of the profits of the marijuana industry.
  • Denver already has more marijuana shops than Starbucks or McDonald’s in the city, with more than 300 licensed marijuana shops, according to the Dept. of Excise and Licenses, July 2015. Enough is enough.
  • Seattle, a city with about the same population as Denver, has limited their recreational marijuana shops to 24 and another 49 medical dispensaries, compared to 121 and 192, respectively, in Denver. Why has Denver allowed so many? It’s time we put some limitations on the number of marijuana businesses.
  • Lessons learned from alcohol and tobacco indicate that accessibility and outlet density heavily influence youth use for these products. The commercialization of marijuana, throughout the hundreds of shops and abundant amount of marijuana available in the city of Denver, must be curtailed for the sake of our youth.
  • The commercialization of marijuana in Denver, going back to 2009, is already taking a toll on Denver’s youth. According to the 2013 Healthy Kid’s Colorado Survey, more Denver kids are using marijuana, and at younger ages, than in the rest of the state. For example, 22.5% of our 8th graders in Denver in the survey admitted to using marijuana in the prior 30 days, compared to 8.7% of 8th graders throughout Colorado. This statistic alone demands that we try and put the brakes on the commercialization of marijuana in Denver.
  • Marijuana is a big problem in our schools, and limiting commercialization is definitely a step in the right direction. This issue was addressed recently at the Colorado School Safety Resource Center’s Safe Schools Summit, where 350 officials “learned about what authorities are calling the No. 1 issue Colorado schools face: marijuana,” according to a Denver Post report.
  • Over 70 municipalities in Colorado have “opted out” of commercialization entirely and those that have “opted in” have capped the number of businesses. Denver should follow suit.
  • Involving community input as to whether or not marijuana shops can be located in a particular neighborhood, is essential. The fact that there were never any hearings for the hundreds of medical marijuana shops that opened throughout our city over the last few years is outrageous. It is essential that robust needs and desires hearings that involve neighbors and the community be required for both recreational and medical marijuana businesses.

Albus Brooks
Councilman District 9
Phone: (720) 337-7709

Deborah Ortega
Council At Large
Phone: (720) 337-7713

Jolon Clark
Councilman District 7
Phone: (720) 337-7777

Stacie Gilmore
Councilwoman District 11
Phone: (720) 337-7711

Paul D. López
Councilman District 3
Phone: (720) 337-3333

Mary Beth Susman
Councilwoman District 5
Phone: (720) 337-5555

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