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Denver Mayor Visits Amsterdam To Discuss Marijuana Policies

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AMSTERDAM (CBS4) – Denver Mayor Michael Hancock was in Amsterdam Friday night with the city’s leaders wanting his input as they consider implementing marijuana policies similar to Denver’s.

People in Amsterdam typically buy pot at coffee shops unlike in Denver where they can buy it a dispensary.

“They’re in the process of doing a lot of things in looking at their marijuana policies,” said Hancock.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock in Amsterdam (credit: Denver Mayor's Office)

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock in Amsterdam (credit: Denver Mayor’s Office)

People in Denver’s marijuana industry say they don’t expect the city to become the new Amsterdam.

“I would say on average about 20 percent of our sales are people out-of-state traveling into Colorado,” said Tim Cullen, co-owner of Evergreen Apothecary. “4/20 Tours comes by Evergreen Apothecary every week. I think coming up with 4/20 weekend you’ll see a lot of people from out of town coming specifically here for cannabis.”

However, people also take the high road to Amsterdam where marijuana is sold in close to 200 retail coffee shops.

“At this point I think the law works in our favor, and all we have to do is look to Amsterdam for lessons learned as why we want to keep that as controlled and restrictive as possible,” said Hancock.

Mason Tvert with the Marijuana Policy Project doesn’t think that people around the world will see Denver as the new Amsterdam.

“I think we’re going to soon have a number of states that have passed laws similar to Colorado’s within the next few years … we’re likely to have upwards of a dozen,” said Tvert.

Until then dispensary owners like Cullen know they’re businesses won’t go up in smoke.

“Colorado is the first model that shows that cannabis can be sold to adults in a responsible way,” said Cullen.

Hancock says that Amsterdam leaders hope to stop dozens of coffee shops there from selling pot because they’re violating distance rules by being too close to schools.

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