Want to know what’s one of the hottest areas in local? Medical marijuana dispensaries. I read in today’s Denver Post that dispensaries are popping up everywhere. The license fee is only $3,000 and there is no cap on the number of dispensaries that can open. This land grab is a result of Amendment 20, passed a decade ago.
So if you want Denver medical marijuana, it’s easy. You can fill out your forms online and even have your pot delivered to you.– maybe they’ll have a 30-minute guarantee to see if it can beat the Dominos guy. And there’s even a referral program, where you earn free pot for referring friends– no limit on referrals either. I don’t see this program being a part of Commission Junction or Affiliate.com anytime soon, but you do have to consider what the economic impacts of this are.
The fact that there’s no limit in Colorado on how many dispensary licenses can be granted is in favor of the consumer– there is more competition. However, should there be a price war, it would cause a shift in the illegal market for marijuana, forcing drug dealers to get licenses and, in effect, legalizing the sale of marijuana. One dispensary even has a low-price marijuana guarantee. Not sure how that works– perhaps you have to bring in a coupon from a competitor or a note from the guy on the street corner?
And what about advertising? Will all these new businesses advertise on “pot” versus “marijuana”, since most stoners can’t spell properly? I can just imagine all the people shopping for pots and pans now seeing a sale on pots– but not getting what they expected. It’s just like my friend who wanted to buy sporting goods at Dicks and typed in dicks.com– oops.
What’s also interesting is that the $3,000 annual license fee was set based on what they charge Denver strip clubs— which maybe says something about their feelings toward this type of business. And the requirements for getting a license are somewhat loose– you can’t have a criminal record and also have to be of good “moral character”. At least folks can’t open dispensaries within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare– else the city I love is quickly going to pot.
Update: In 2008, the Colorado Department of Health processed 5,000 new medical marijuana cards– and it took them 10 days to process cards. In just this past week, they have received 1,800 applications and are now backed up to 12 weeks to process cards. It would appear that something is out of control. Are there really that many more people suffering from cancer, AIDS, or another type of ailment?