DENVER (CBS4) – The deadline has now passed for medical marijuana dispensaries operating too close to schools in Colorado. They had to shut down by Tuesday or face action by the federal government.
4 On Your Side Investigator Rick Sallinger talked to a dispensary owner who was forced to close his business.
Andy Telsey sold his interest in the two locations he had. He got approval from the state but he feels he was misled by federal authorities.
“I feel I was blatantly lied to,” Telsey said.
Telsey’s medical marijuana dispensary called The Grasshopper is now closed. When he opened the business, a nearby school was closed. But now it has reopened and Telsey was ordered to shut down or be shut down.
“I fail to understand how being 500 feet away from my current location is going to change anything,” Telsey said. “The problem here is, how are these kids getting medical marijuana if they’re getting medical marijuana from a dispensary?”
They won’t be getting it from Rocky Mountain High’s 3rd and University location. It’s now closed. It was well under 1,000 feet from Bromwell Elementary School. Principal Jody Cohn is more than pleased.
“I’m thrilled. I think that it was very important that they responded to the letters and that they did promptly move as quickly as possible,” Cohn said.
In the Cherry Creek North neighborhood shoppers still walk by another dispensary near a school which remains open. It has not received a letter from the U.S. attorney but plans to move. That’s what has happened with a dispensary near Morey Middle School. It’s now in the same area, but farther away.
Another dispensary near Morey Middle School is gone. A sign out front urges customers to go elsewhere, even offering a free gift. What was Med Stop at 8th and Galapago is now just another vacant storefront.
Caught between state and U.S. laws, dispensary owners are not pleased with the federal authorities.
“They’ve got their own agenda. They are not doing this to benefit the community, they are doing it to benefit their own personal agenda and personal careers,” Telsey said.
Federal authorities are now reviewing whether each of the 23 dispensaries that they notified are now adequately closed. And more letters to other dispensaries near schools are expected to go out soon.