As many as 41 medical marijuana businesses in the Denver area could be forced to close by the end of the month. Officials are planning on shutting down medical marijuana businesses that are operating without a license. All businesses are required to have a license by July 1st or cease operations.
The 41 businesses that could possibly be shutdown have been operating in 'license limbo.' When licenses were first issued in 2010, businesses that were already in operation were allowed to continue operating. That grace period is up at the end of the month. The businesses in question have been notified in writing that they either need to finalize the license process, or stop what they are doing. Per the Denver Post:
""Failure to comply may result in law enforcement and administrative action," cautioned a letter sent to the businesses last week.
Ashley Kilroy, Denver's coordinator for marijuana policy, said city officials have also visited the businesses --- mostly cultivation facilities --- to urge them to finish up the licensing process.
"We hope that they'll be in compliance and, if not, we'll have to figure out how we go about enforcing the order to cease operations," she said."
This situation reminds me a lot of my home state of Oregon, where dozens, if not hundreds, of medical marijuana businesses are operating without a license, and have been for years. Oregon passed a medical marijuana dispensary law which allowed these businesses to get a license. However, many cities and counties issued moratoriums that banned businesses. Many of them still operate without a license. Will Oregon see a crackdown like the one about to happen in Denver? Who knows? Will the businesses that have been notified in Denver comply, or defy the request to cease operations? Only time will tell.