City-targeted dispensaries could face police action


Local medical marijuana dispensaries that don’t comply with cease-and-desist orders issued by the city of Boulder this month could get a visit from the police.

City of Boulder spokesperson Sarah Huntley told Boulder Weekly today that no police actions have been taken so far, “but we certainly could choose to go down that road if we felt like it was necessary at a later date.”

She added that while police search-and-seizure actions are possible, city officials have also told dispensaries that they are willing to meet with businesses, with attorneys present.

Huntley says that at least three of the six dispensaries that have been sent cease-and-desist letters have already approached city officials to resolve the issue at hand. They must cease selling their product, and they have 14 days from receipt of the letter to resolve the issue before they have to relocate their product to another site.

According to Huntley, all but one of the six dispensaries were targeted because of issues uncovered during background checks. (Boulder’s medical marijuana ordinance prohibits those “not of good moral character” from having a financial interest in or managing a dispensary; Huntley says having a felony conviction within  the last five years is grounds for denying a license application.)

“In some cases, businesses have called us and said, ‘What if I terminate the individual you have a concern about?’” she told Boulder Weekly. “In some cases, that could be a way to resolve the issue, if it’s somebody who’s not considered a primary owner. But if it’s an owner who has the issue, then we are telling businesses they would have to resubmit an application with new ownership information.”

The sixth dispensary, Huntley says, received a letter because it was in violation of the city’s 500-foot zoning rule. The ordinance does not permit dispensaries to operate within 500 feet of a school or day care center, or within 500 feet of three other dispensaries.

Huntley says the six dispensaries that have received cease-and-desist letters so far are 8th Street Care Center, Fresh Baked Dispensary, High Grade Alternatives, Mountain Medicine Group, Southwest Alternative Care and Timberline Herbal Clinic.

She added that two more dispensaries will be sent similar letters within the next week, but she declined to identify them.

The city has created an appeals process for dispensaries to contest the decision.

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