DENVER – The first public hearing and city council discussion on a bill that would allow Denver’s marijuana shops to stay open until 10 p.m. are set to get underway at Monday evening’s council meeting.
The city council’s special marijuana issue committee tentatively approved the measure in early April that would add three hours to the time Denver medical and recreational marijuana shops are allowed to stay open.
Currently, Denver requires stores within its city limits to close at 7 p.m. Other nearby municipalities, like Glendale and Edgewood, let pot shops stay open until midnight. Shops in Aurora, Boulder and Commerce City are open until 10 p.m.
The original bill had proposed a midnight closing time, but that was amended by the marijuana committee after weeks of discussion with marijuana business owners, law enforcement and marijuana proponents.
The bill passed committee by 12-1 and 11-2 votes.
When the state legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, it said shops could be open from 8 a.m. until midnight each day, but it also allowed municipalities to determine the hours the shops would stay open.
And in 2015, the state allowed medical shops to stay open for the same hours as recreational shops.
Discussions to keep Denver’s shops open longer have been ongoing for years, but took a step forward in January, when the proposal first was discussed.
Proponents of extending shop hours have argued doing so would make the city more competitive with its neighbors, despite the city having raked in about half of last year’s sales statewide.
A Denver Post questionnaire done ahead of the last city council election found many of the current councilors said they would at least consider extending marijuana shop hours.
Monday’s council meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. The bill is likely to get another hearing before a final vote.
If you’d like to speak at the public hearing, sign up with the Council Secretary before 5 p.m. in Room 451 of the City and County building, or sign up during the council’s recess.