You are hereCity hopes to crack down on marijuana dispensaries
City hopes to crack down on marijuana dispensaries
The City of Boulder Planning Board will come together on Thursday at 6p.m. to consider regulating and potentially banning medical marijuana dispensaries in Boulder.
Fears of increased crime such as vandalism, robberies, violence, sales of marijuana to minors and a lack of zoning and tax laws are all reasons for imposing new rules on the sale of medical marijuana here in Boulder. The new set of regulations being drafted will help crack down on this hazy issue and let buyers and sellers know what is legal and is not.
In the past year, two dispensaries have been robbed and although no one was injured, they did steal the store’s pot supplies.
The Boulder Police said that there has not been an excessive increase in crime around the dispensaries, but they can see why it is cause for concern.
According to CU student John Christianson, who lives on the Hill nearby one facility in Boulder, he doesn’t feel unsafe.
“I’m not concerned about my house being broken into,” said Christianson. “If someone is looking for pot, they aren’t going to be breaking into random neighborhood houses, and I assume the business takes the necessary precautions to protect themselves.”
There are several different options that the city is pursuingt. These options include: setting a maximum number of medical marijuana dispensaries, amending the sales tax licensing process to insure that all the businesses are legal at the local, state and federal levels, setting a minimum distance of 500 to 1,000 feet between the marijuana establishments and schools, parks and daycare centers, as well as doing a background check of owners and employees.
Currently there are at least 20 licensed dispensaries all over the city with 13 more pending. Business owners and city council members are worried that the rate of crime will increase with the growing number of dispensaries throughout the city.
"I thought I would see people walking in to the pot dispensaries around the corner with canes but I have not seen that," said Mary Bollinger, a barber shop owner on the hill. Bollinger believes the dispensaries should not be so close to campus or on a location such as the hill where young kids walk around and visit frequently. "I've been told the people visiting these pot places are 17 to 20 years old and that is a crime in itself, they don't have problems they need marijuana for," said Bollinger.
While Bollinger disagrees with the appearance of these dispensaries throughout the city, medical marijuana dispensary owners and employees like Fitz O'Neil, believe that the more popular these dispensaries get, the more they can spend to protect the city from crime. "Even if crime does rise, marijuana sales bring in a lot of tax revenue for the city and if the money keeps coming in, the city will be able to pay for more officers and more security which will keep the city safe," said O'Neil.
The views are conflicting all over the board and the regulations remain hazy. The council hopes that tonight they will come up with new rules that will make the laws on medical marijuana dispensaries more clear and more regulated. For now, all business owners and dispensary owners can do is sit back and wait to see what happens.
Check out the City of Boulder weekly crime map:
Check out the Boulder County crime map: