Advocates of Denver’s first social cannabis use initiative haven’t been shy about their disdain for the city’s implementation of the voter-approved measure. After Initiative 300 won in November 2016, it took nearly a year for the city’s task force to come up with regulations, and under those rules only one business has been approved so far.

The measure’s supporters have cited location restrictions and a lack of profitable business opportunities as the main reasons why only three businesses have applied for Cannabis Consumption Establishment licenses; one of those was rejected because it was eighteen feet short of a 1,000-foot buffer between CCEs and any school, drug or alcohol treatment facility, or city-owned park or recreation center. Any business with a liquor license is also barred from applying, and as a result many entrepreneurs say they have no choice but to stay away from social cannabis consumption in order to keep their alcohol revenue.

However, the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, which is responsible for issuing and regulating CCE licenses, says that are are plenty of areas within the restrictions, which would open thousands of locations to social consumption.

To evaluate the successes and failures of the CCE initiative, a three-year pilot program, Denver City Council set up a task force made of city and health officials, cannabis industry members, businesses owners and neighborhood representatives to meet during its inaugural year. Councilwoman Kendra Black, the task-force leader, brought Denver Technology Services to help visualize the location issue at the group’s most recent meeting on Thursday, June 14. DTS used GPS and mapping technology to compare current I-300 regulations with looser restrictions; it also compared I-300’s location rules with the city’s rules regarding businesses with liquor licenses.

Here’s what task-force members saw:

Current regulations

Denver Technology Services

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