Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown has stripped one of the more controversial provisions from his proposed regulations for the burgeoning medical marijuana industry.
The regulatory framework he unveiled today in a council committee no longer would require a medical marijuana dispensary to meet a "needs and desires" threshold to obtain a license.
Brown originally proposed requiring applicants to submit testimony before a hearing officer showing they they would meet the needs and requirements of surrounding neighborhoods. Such testimony is already required of establishments seeking a license to serve liquor and provide live music.
Brown said he decided to remove the provision from his package of regulations because he decided they were too onerous.
"Nobody would be able to get a license if I left that in," Brown said.
He still is pushing a package of other regulations that would require on-site cameras at dispensaries that law enforcement officials could access. Brown said he also may try to ban the dispensing of medical marijuana through the use of mobile vans and may seek to prohibit onsite consumption of medical marijuana at dispensaries.
He also would bar dispensaries from operating within 1,000 feet of one another and from operating within 500 feet of a school. He would further restrict the dispensaries to commercial areas. Potential operators also would have to undergo criminal background checks.
The council will meet again in committee on Dec. 2 to continue considering Brown's proposed regulations.
By Christopher N. Osher
November 18, 2009
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Denver council committee considers medical pot regulations