Lakewood, Colorado is the fifth largest city in the Denver Metro area. Actually, it is the fifth most populated city in all of Colorado. Located in Jefferson County, Colorado, Lakewood was actually recently ranked 34 of the best 100 places to live, according to Livability. With a population nearing 143,500, and a median household income of $55,000, people of all walks of life settle here. With a quick commute to Denver and central location to other attractions, it serves as an ideal home for families and individuals alike.
One of the most recent and notable facts about Lakewood, though, is that it is also one of many cities in Colorado not allowing retail marijuana businesses to open in their city.
Amendment 20: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
In 2000, Amendment 20 was passed in Colorado, legalizing medical marijuana. This meant that if a person had cancer, glaucoma, HIV, or another debilitating disease or medical condition, they could acquire a medical marijuana license and use the drug for healing purposes. This applied to all individuals, regardless of age. However, persons under 18 needed a parent or custodial to have the license. Medical marijuana patients would carry registry identification cards issued by the health organizations. While they could use it, they could not do so in plain view of the public or in a way that would harm them.
Medical marijuana dispensaries and providers spread throughout the state of Colorado, including Lakewood. There are many clinics and dispensaries scattered throughout Lakewood and other southern surrounding areas of Denver.
According to the Denver Post, Lakewood is not allowing any more medical marijuana dispensaries to be established, not issuing any more permits.
Amendment 64: Recreational Marijuana Legalized, but Not Businesses
When Amendment 64 was passed in Colorado, it allowed individuals 21 and over to be able to possess, as well as use, recreational marijuana. However, it also allowed the local municipalities to make their own rules about marijuana businesses. Some set restrictions on where the pot dispensaries could be. Others banned it entirely. After the passing of Amendment 64, Lakewood didn’t necessarily ban recreational marijuana business. However, they delayed them. The local Lakewood government decided to not allow recreational pot businesses to open until February 2015. While individuals are able to grow the legal amount in their homes and partake in consumption, the allowance for marijuana businesses to be formed in the city is still being debated.
In November 2014, Lakewood, Colorado voters were asked to consider whether or not they actually wanted retail marijuana stores to open in February of 2015, or if they preferred to ban retail marijuana stores from opening. This question was put on the ballot due to public comments and negative votes at a July 2014 city council meeting. According to the Denver Post, during that city council meeting, they voted to ban the testing, growing, and manufacturing of marijuana products. They also banned “smoking clubs” along with the production of hash-oil.
According to the report by the Denver Post, despite their overwhelming votes for Amendment 64, residents were not in favor of the recreational marijuana dispensaries having a place in Lakewood. They were asked point blank, “Shall it be unlawful to operate a retail marijuana store at any location within the city of Lakewood?” Almost 55 percent responded yes.
For more information about the most recent Lakewood marijuana law, read our blog post.