Boulder Boots 1/3 MMJ Collectives…”High Standards”

Boulder Co city officials have rejected more than 1/3 of the applications from people seeking to run medical marijuana dispensaries or growing operations in the city, slowing the pace of what once was seen as a Wild West-style rush for riches.

Ten months after the initial 119 business-license applications were turned in by Boulder’s November deadline — set when the City Council last year approved sweeping new regulations for the budding industry — 40 medical marijuana companies have licenses to operate.

So far, 41 of those 119 applications, from existing businesses that had opened prior to adoption of the new rules, have been rejected for reasons that include zoning problems, incomplete paperwork and — in about half of the cases — the sometimes extensive criminal records of owners, operators and investors.

City officials say the vast majority of the 38 applications that remain in their queue have passed their initial background checks and are well on their way to being awarded business licenses.

As for those medical marijuana business owners who have been denied licenses, some have closed shop or moved to cities with less stringent rules. Some fired or bought out employees and partners with problematic pasts.

And many others are appealing the city’s decisions — a tactic that allows them to stay open and keep their fingers in Boulder’s multimillion-dollar marijuana industry while they plot their next steps.


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