DENVER (CBS4) – Some city of Denver officials want to put a hold on any new marijuana shops opening their doors.
A city council committe will hear a proposal on the matter Tuesday. Initially, the hearing was to discuss extending current restrictions for 2 years.
A city spokesperson says even before the meeting, council members requested more time to consider the idea and instead they have agreed to ask for temporary 120 day extension.
The original proposal comes with heated debate as Denver current holds 40 percent of all licenses issued in the state. There just over 200 unique locations in the city.
Tyler Henson with the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce says Denver plays a big role in the state’s success so far.
“The majority of the licenses are here. A majority of the businesses are here,” Henson said.
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When recreational marijuana was made legal, the city allowed only standing medical marijuana shops to apply for retail licenses. That rule is set to expire Jan. 1, 2016 and would open the door to anyone who wanted to get into the industry.
Now city officials are asking for the extension. It’s an idea Henson doesn’t agree with.
“We look at that as it’s inhibiting the growth of our industry and it’s prohibiting individuals from accessing this industry,” he said.
In the original proposal the city cites concerns of overproduction, and long term social and public health impacts that researchers have only begun to study.
Gina Carbone is with Smart Colorado, one of the groups currently backing the city’s proposal.
“Both in the grow side and the actual shops I think that there’s concern … to just take a slower approach,” Carbone said.