3:02pm

Mon February 6, 2012
Health

Uncertainty Looms Large as Fort Collins Dispensaries Face Ban

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Fort Collins are supposed to close next week after a ban on such facilities was approved by voters last fall. But what happens next is still uncertain.

Six dispensary owners are suing the city to stop the ban. They’ll have their day in court on Thursday.

Some businesses, like Infinite Wellness Center, are hoping to attract patients to ventures outside of Fort Collins.

“The last week has been hard,” said General Manager Christine Romarine. “People are really starting to feel the sting of having to close, wondering where they’ll go and how they’ll continue to get the quality medicine they need.”

Romarine also runs a dispensary in Lakewood. She’s offering gas vouchers and other coupons to patients who make the trip in the coming months. She’s also starting a blog on her website for patients looking to carpool.

“We’re trying to give them incentives to come down there, but it’s not easy for everyone,” she said, referring to patients with epilepsy and other conditions that make driving difficult.

Meantime, Fort Collins police will be inspecting all business on or before the Feb. 14 ban date to confiscate surplus inventory that isn’t sold to patients. Sergeant Jim Byrne said inspections are also taking place at dispensaries’ grow sites.

“The analogy I’ve used is we’re the moving company. There is furniture that has to be moved—in this case marijuana or marijuana-infused product,” said Byrne.  “It’s logged in [to the Fort Collins Police System] and then it’s going to be destroyed.”

At least 7 businesses have already gone through inspections and closed their doors, according to the Coloradoan. That’s out of about 20 businesses overall that will be impacted by the ban, which goes into effect at 7 o’clock on February 14.