The City of Denver licensing director, Stacie Loucks, agreed with a hearing’s officer’s findings that a cultivation’s odors and other effects conflict with the neighborhood plan for Elyria-Swansea and denied the renewal of a cultivation license. This is an unprecedented action taken and surely the owner of the cultivation will appeal this decision to the district courts.
What does this mean?
It should be noted that one of the neighborhood advocates supporting a rejection of the license was affiliated with the nearby National Western Stock Show. The National Western Stock Show generates substantial revenue to the City and is an active participant in local government. Further, this particular cultivation is within neighborhood boundaries (unlike the numerous other cultivations on industrial-zoned land where cultivation is automatically allowed) and subject to this type of scrutiny upon renewals.
The City of Denver is looking to tighten the reins on the local industry with respect to managing the number of licensees and when appropriate, using its power to reduce the number of licensees through similar actions. However, it is my view that this will not be trend as there were very specific circumstances that resulted in this particular license denial.
The take-a-way for other licensees is to make sure you are respectful of your neighbors and actively work with them to ensure they have your back to avoid a similar situation. Winning the support of neighborhood organizations, business districts and the individuals in and around your premises is key for the continued growth of our industry and especially important if you operate in a saturated neighborhood.