BLOG - Post your comments here
Loveland Dispensary Owners Appeal For More Time
Loveland - January 9, 2011

Marijuana dispensaries operating in Loveland are lobbying the City of Loveland not to enforce Measure 2C passed by voters last
November – at least not until July 1, 2011.  The appeal by local dispensary owners may cause a showdown between the city and
some dispensary owners who say the law is unconstitutional.  A showdown will be the first true test of the leadership skills of
Loveland's new City Manager Bill Cahill.

63% of Loveland voters rejected a ballot question last November that would have allowed marijuana dispensaries to continue
operating in Loveland indefinitely.  Before placing the measure on the ballot, Loveland’s City Council agreed to give dispensary
owners until March 1, 2011 only if the measure failed to close their businesses.  One councilor told LovelandPolitics five months
is already a "generous" amount of time for the dispensaries to wind-down operations, sell-out inventory or find new locations
outside Loveland.

The appeal of that deadline came by way of a letter to Mayor Gutierrez and members of Loveland’s council from the Loveland
Association of Wellness (LAW) whose members include the
SmithStonian (also named Loveland Cannabis Club), New
Vision Alternative, MadicalM, LTD, Medical Oasis and Mountain Medical Leaf.

The letter states, “We would very much like to see the council re-visit the enforcement date for closure to allow us to
attempt  to move to another local.  We have all invested  great deal financially, trying to meet and comply with all of
the new state regulations was well as the LAW association’s additional rules:  we would like to be afforded the
opportunity to re-capture some of that investment as well as to be able to move our companies to new
”  Another letter was also sent from LAW on the same day informing the city that the marijuana dispensaries
have decided to cease mutual cooperation under the organization LAW.

According to one dispensary owner, he complied with the self-imposed regulations of LAW because one Loveland councilor
promised this cooperation would help pass Measure  2C and get city hall behind their efforts.  He said covering the marijuana leaf
from his large outdoor sign cut “
walk-in” or impulse sales by new customers thus lowering traffic to his dispensary because it
wasn’t clear what he was selling.  LAW has said they will no longer follow the advice provided by members of Loveland's City
Council meant to earn favor with the community.

LAW’s appeal letter to council also informs Loveland officials that in discussions with Lewis Koski, the head of Colorado’s
Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division in the State’s Department of Revenue, that Loveland dispensaries that close now and
re-open in a new location before the end of the moratorium will need to pay the $8,750 state licensing fee again.  According to
Loveland’s distributors and growers that would place an “
undue hardship” on their businesses.  The dispensary owners are
asking to be allowed to continue operating until July so after the moratorium they can move their businesses outside Loveland to
county areas or other nearby municipalities that allow marijuana dispensaries.  In addition, the dispensary owners argue Loveland
could earn more sales tax revenue by not enforcing the Measure 2C until July 1, 2011 after the state’s moratorium has expired.

Another motive for remaining open may be the Loveland dispensary owners' hope that the Colorado Supreme Court will
overturn the two laws passed by Colorado’s Legislature in 2010 regulating medical marijuana dispensaries and giving local
municipalities the authority to prohibit the burgeoning commercial marijuana trade in their communities.  Denver Lawyer Andrew
B. Reid filed a petition for his client, a medical marijuana dispensary owner in Nederland, claiming the two laws (HB 10-1284
and SB 10-109) violate Colorado’s constitution.   

Loveland dispensary owners are hopeful the new lawsuit may cause the State Supreme Court to suspend enforcement of the new
laws by municipalities like Loveland and even potentially allow them to remain open indefinitely while the case is argued.  
Ironically, it was the pot lobby that pushed for and supported the very regulations they are now challenging in court as

The Boulder Weekly quoted a spokesman for Colorado Attorney General John Suthers stating, “We intend to defend any
challenges to HB 1284 and Senate Bill 109.”

Loveland Mayor Cecil Gutierrez has told LovelandPolitics that he is not aware of any councilor who has requested the item be
placed on a future agenda.   Several members of Loveland’s City Council told LovelandPolitics they don’t want the item to come
before them for deliberation and believed the matter had already been settled at the ballot box.

Nonetheless, members of LAW are hoping the council “quietly” informs City Attorney John Duval and Police Chief Luke Hecker
to delay any enforcement of Measure 2C until July instead of the March 1, 2011 deadline approved by voters.  They believe the
lack of enforcement” may not be noticed by the public and point out in their letter to the council, “a few of the council
members were open to the July 1, 2011 date
” while calling the actual deadline of March 1, 2011 something the council arrived
at before the Measure 2C vote as “

Recent statewide news that criminal drug traffickers from New Mexico moved into Colorado after passage of the medical
marijuana legislation last year to use marijuana dispensaries for their illegal trade could create a public uproar if the city fails to
keep their part of the bargain and enforce the remedy the voters chose last November.

Loveland's new City Manager Bill Cahill has the obligation to ensure the March 1, deadline is enforced according to an ordinance
passed in 2010 by Loveland's City Council.  Any extension of that deadline would require direction by the council through an
official meeting noticed to the public.  So far, none has been scheduled and the deadline for the dispensaries to close is three
weeks away.
Regulatory Overview

November 2000
Colorado voters approve Amendment 20 to State
Constitution allowing for limited use of marijuana
for medical purposes

October 2009
President Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder,
instructed federal prosecutes not to seek charges
against medical marijuana users in 14 states where
some form of marijuana use is allowed under state

June 2010
Governor Ritter signs into law regulations allowing
for the retail of marijuana in Colorado but allowing
local jurisdictions of "opt-out" by prohibiting the
for-profit distribution. see
Denver Post article
Yes on 2C Funded Entirely By Marijuana
Dispensaries in Loveland

Oct. 2010 Contributions List for Yes on 2C


“Shall the City of Loveland, Colorado, allow
within the City the operation of medical
marijuana centers, optional premises
cultivation operations, and medical
marijuana-infused products manufacturers’

63% Voted NO
36% Voted Yes
Click Here to see the appeal letter by LAW to the Mayor and City Council