Boulder City Council Meeting Tuesday (3/2)

Tues., March 2, 2010
6:00 pm
Boulder City Council Meeting

WHAT: Discuss permanent medical marijuana dispensary ordinance
ACTION: Please show up to testify against the proposed ordinance.
We would like the City Council to form the Boulder Compassionate Medical Cannabis Commission, composed of patients, caregivers, physicians, advocates, city officials and law enforcement officers, instead of enacting their proposed ordinance that will harm patients.

LOCATION:
Council Chambers
Municipal Building (second floor)
1777 Broadway, Boulder, CO
Southwest corner of Broadway and Canyon.

BACKGROUND
Here is a description of the proposed regulations:

Cannabis Therapy Institute Statement

The proposed City of Boulder medical marijuana ordinance would make running a medical marijuana business one of the most expensive and burdensome in Boulder. The ordinance would add tens of thousands of dollars to running a medical marijuana business, including the costs of additional application fees, license fees, architect's drawings, security and record-keeping requirements. The ordinance also allows unannounced police inspections, increasing a medical marijuana caregiver's legal fees by thousands of dollars a year.

The ordinance will eliminate at least 50% of the caregivers in Boulder, force caregivers to raise their prices, and make the black market become cheaper than operating legally. This will not solve any "problems", but will rather force patients back into the black market to obtain their medicine cheaper.

The Boulder ordinance caters to a rich mega-Walmart-dispensary model and would prohibit smaller caregivers from operating lawfully as they are now. The Boulder City Council is apparently unaware of the fact that the most unique and innovative strains of cannabis and useful medicinal preparations of cannabis (tinctures, salves and edibles for arthritis, glaucoma, and pain management) are coming out of small caregiving businesses. This kind of diversity will be lost to patients with the passage of the Boulder ordinance.

The Cannabis Therapy Institute proposes instead that the City Council form the Boulder Compassionate Medical Cannabis Commission, composed of patients, caregivers, physicians, advocates, city officials and law enforcement officers. The Commission would be charged with developing a patient-centered approach to cannabis regulation. Instead of enacting yet another Law Enforcement Ordinance, the City of Boulder should become the leader in developing compassionate regulation that solves the real problems that patients are actually having, such as cost of medicine and continued discrimination.

*URGENT - TAKE ACTION NOW*

"Nothing About Us Without Us!"
Urge the City Council to form the Boulder Compassionate Medical Cannabis Commission to first study and define what the "problem" is, and then to develop compassionate regulations that work for patients, while still keeping the community safe.

Email the Boulder City Council:
Council@bouldercolorado.gov


DETAILS OF ORDINANCE

The Boulder's proposed medical marijuana ordinance is modeled on the City's liquor licensing laws. Here are some of the more onerous provisions. The ordinance would:
- Require licensing and application fees from $4,000 to $6,000 This will put small caregivers out of business and prohibit new small businesses from opening. This favors the well-funded mega-Walmart dispensaries, not the local mom-and-pop shops that are now helping thousands of patients in Boulder and providing medicines unique to each caregiver.
- Allows the City Manager to deny the application of someone who is not of "good moral character".
- Require that all distribution of medical cannabis is done by the patient's primary caregiver. This provision might prohibit primary caregivers from hiring employees to work in their facilities. All transactions would have to be done by one person in the business. This is a onerous and burdensome regulation that makes no sense.
- Limit the density of medical marijuana facilities so there can be no more than 3 within 500 feet. The average city block is 200 to 250 feet, so this would significantly limit the opportunities for smaller caregiving businesses to cluster together in the same area or office building. Since this requirement was only enacted in order to preserve the diverse nature of Boulder's retail storefronts, the provision should be eliminated for businesses that are not *visible* from the street. It should only apply to *visible* businesses.
- Limit the size of businesses to 3000 square feet or less. This is an arbitrary limit that will unnecessarily stifle businesses from expanding to better serve their patient communities.
- Require individual security systems, including 24-hour security cameras. In certain businesses, such as those located in a secure office building or complex, this is another unnecessary burden that will force caregivers to raise their prices and patients back into the black market.
- Allow unannounced searches of dispensaries by law enforcement without warrant or probable cause. The business would have to keep track of every gram that came in or out of the business, and these records would have to be open to inspection at any time by law enforcement. This will significantly increase administrative and legal costs of running a legal caregiving business.
- The business would have to prove that "no more marijuana was in the medical marijuana business than allowed by applicable law for the number of patients who designated the medical marijuana business holders as their primary caregiver."

IMPORTANT LINKS

Description of the proposed regulations:

Meeting agenda

Here is a history of the process in Boulder:
http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12380&Itemid=22#PROJ

LIVE STREAM

If you can't attend the hearing in person, you can watch the hearing at home on local Channel 8, or an online live stream.

     
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