Several Colorado Marijuana Shops Forced To Move
The U.S. Attorney's Office gave some marijuana dispensaries an ultimatum to either move out or shut down.
According to federal law, the shops have to be located 1000 feet or more away from schools. The U.S. Attorney's Office recently sent a second round of warning letters to stores.
Several dispensaries in Colorado Springs spent the day counting their product and the number of days they have to move. "We got a letter from U.S. Attorney John Walsh saying that we had to shut down or move our business," said one dispensary owner who wishes to remain anonymous.
The first set of letters were sent out primarily to Denver. The latest set of letters, however, were directed toward several shops in both Denver and Colorado Springs.
"When they first came out, I had goosebumps everywhere. I was extremely scared," said the anonymous dispensary owner. "Marijuana used at a young age hurts your ability to learn. That is why the U.S. Attorney's Office is attempting to shut down marijuana stores near schools," said Jeff Dorchner from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Colorado Springs has its own set of rules. Dispensaries have to be more than 400 feet from schools. "After Colorado Springs said O.K. to the buffer zone, I thought we were safe. Sweet. Now I can can live my dream," said the anonymous dispensary owner.
The federal law, however, mandates that marijuana shops be more than a 1000 feet from schools. So now, several dispensaries have to look for new places to set up shop. "We are actively looking. Every day we are calling up places, to find out if they have open retail space," said the dispensary owner.
So money from sales has to be put toward moving, instead of other things. "We had employees that we had to let go. We had claimed zero income this month," said another dispensary owner who also wishes to remain anonymous.
If they don't move, dispensary owners may be in for an eye-opening experience. "If the 46th day comes around from getting that letter, and you don't move, what I understand flash-bangs come through the door, and S.W.A.T. shows up. Everybody ends up getting arrested," said the dispensary owner.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says it sent out 25 letters in its most recent correspondence to stores. They plan on sending out a third set of letters soon, to a whole new set of dispensaries.
- Article originally from KRDO.com.