Proponents of Denver’s UTOPIA Wellness Spa and Cannabis Club appealed to the Denver City Council, June 11, for “regulatory relief” after the Council denied their application over being 19-feet too close to a childcare center.
Utopia founder Cindy Sovine told Council she had spent thousands of hours “pouring over every citizen concern,” and had gotten the written support from the childcare center, and of four area neighborhood organizations. In all, 7 speakers asked Council to look into the inflexibility of the Denver Excise/Licensing office in killing the application without a public hearing. But EXL head Ashley Kilroy went further, suggesting the social consumption rules would still allow over 9000 (of 37,414) Denver businesses to be able to apply. Initiative 300 backer Kayvan Khalatbari said the cannabis restrictions were much more severe than any buffers required for bars in Denver, noting that current EXL rules push most social club venues into industrial, poor and saturated MJ-cultivation areas which the city said in 2016 it wanted to reduce.
Colorado‘s record-setting sales of cannabis may be leveling out, as figures from the Dept. of Revenue report an RMJ/MMJ sales total of S124.3 million, almost tied with the same month a year earlier in 2017. Within that 2018 figure, consumer purchases of RMJ were $97.3 million, up from the 2017 number of $86.2 million, showing a continued decline in MMJ sales. Records sales of $106 million. were reported from the prior month of March 2018.
A third Denver social consumption application has been submitted by Vape&Play, a non-dispensary related business. The proposed vape/dab and edibles club will be located in the 1700 block of Denver’s South Broadway St., home to about 14 cannabis dispensaries within a one-mile radius. Principal Taylor Rosean says he will open the club with a daily fee (for tourists) and an annual membership option. The bring-your-own flower or concentrate center will provide visitors with a full indoor vaping bar. “It’s been hard to find funding,” said Rosean of the concept, but said he remained hopeful to make the space available to a wide range of customer types.
NCIA will host a fireside chat between former assistant AG James Cole, author of the Cole Memo, and NCIA chief Aaron Smith, July 25in San Jose. The Cole Memo, issued in August 2013, outlined the Justice Department’s priorities concerning marijuana enforcement in states with legal, regulated cannabis programs. The memo, which focused on public safety issues like preventing trafficking and sales to minors, was widely interpreted to signal a federal hands-off approach toward cannabis businesses operating in full compliance with state laws. The Cole Memo was rescinded by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in January of this year, but the direct impact of that move so far remains ambiguous.
Canada‘s Senate has voted to send its legalization bill, C-45, to the full House of Commons. Still contested is the rule for consumer home growing (so far banned) and setting of procedures for local provinces to over-see penalties for impaired highway driving. With the successful June 7th vote, the potential for a Canadian start to RMJ sales looks to be possible by October 1.
Massachusetts is heading toward its first legal recreational sales on July 1st. Regulators met this week to discuss a multitude of possible law enforcement action to curb expected impaired driving with legalization start.
In North Hollywood, more than 300 applicants (from 100 different companies) submitted “business review” applications for RMJ center (90 applicants for 8), 50 applicants for four MMJ (4 MMJ already are open), 60 hopefuls for 8 delivery licenses, and consumption licenses for 8 edible-only clubs (20 apps) and 8 full (smoke, vape and edible) clubs which saw 80 contenders, said West Hollywood development office Jackie Rocca.
Nevada Cannabis Leader Tick Segerblom won the June 12th Democratic nomination to become a new Clark County commissioner, beating out his Sheldon Adelson-backed Union official Marco Hernandez by just 181 votes. In a heavily Democratic area, Segerblom is expected to garner a November election win over his Republican opponent. Segerblom has led every major cannabis legalization effort over his past 8 years in the State Senate, and is keen to work out details to begin social consumption clubs in Nevada. The City of Las Vegas has planned a data-gathering workshop on social use, June 27th (10am) at the City Hall.