City Orders Lone Medical Marijuana Dispensary To Shut Down

By: Jason Aubry Email
By: Jason Aubry Email

The city of Pueblo's only operating medical marijuana dispensary has been shut down. Tuesday, city officials notified the business it had to stop selling or else. Wednesday a dry-erase board explaining to patrons they were closed was on display in front of the shop.

Medimar Ministry was able to obtain a sales license last year for the dispensary, but city officials say they were unaware of the companies plans to sell marijuana. The original application for the business was to sell herbal remedies and other goods.

Since October, the city has been under a moratorium on the opening of medical marijuana dispensaries. Medimar agreed to abide by the moratorium at first, then after it was extended the owners decided to begin dispensing the marijuana to patients who declared the business was their caregiver. Since then their client base has grown to more than 500 patients.

Wednesday, Medimar's phone lines were jammed with irate patients who were calling to find out what to do next, and how they could help. Just before 1:00 p.m. the voicemail system had 99 new entrees and at least 38 other missed calls. Many others were able to get through and spoke with staff.

Meanwhile, many patients who stopped by were surprised and angered by the closure. "What am I supposed to do, buy it off a street vendor? Am I supposed to buy it off the streets and risk getting in trouble?" questions Darace Smith, a patient who uses Medimar's services.

Inside, staff members not fielding phone calls are putting together petitions and organizing patients in an effort to fight the closure. They say they wish they could do more to help the patients. "We had a gentleman yesterday who has multiple sclerosis, he's in a walker, he can barely move, and [medical marijuana] is what keeps him able to move as much as he can, and we had to tell him, we can't help you," says Andrea Floyd, the General Manager of Medimar's Pueblo location.

Floyd says, the business wants to resolve the issue with the city peacefully and reopen as soon as possible, however they may have to take their fight to court. If that's the case, many patients may opt to jump ship and head to other dispensaries currently operating in the county. Another option Medimar is toying with is leaving the city altogether, and moving their operation into the county.

This could ultimately be the only course for the dispensary, as the city council is set to decide whether or not to put a question on the November ballot that would give voters the final say over the future of dispensaries inside city limits. Meanwhile, county officials are still in the planning stages of their response to the regulatory options provided to local governments by state leaders earlier this year. The bills the state legislature passed go into effect Thursday.

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  • by StormCrow on Jul 1, 2010 at 02:28 PM
    Well, we now know just how compassionate the petty politicians of Pueblo are! Can you imagine being a paraplegic trying to find some cannabis to ease your burning neuropathic pain and having to deal with some low-life back-street thug? Or what about a breast cancer victim hoping to prevent the cancer's spread and be able to eat during chemotherapy? Or someone coping with the pain and weakness of MS? Could you, in good conscience, send them out on the streets to find their medicine? Your politicians apparently can! Shame on them!
  • by Justin Location: Pueblo on Jun 30, 2010 at 09:30 PM
    This is very sad indeed. I was at city council meeting on the 28th where they once again decided to do nothing. Medimar has attempted to be legal, the city simply does not want to go along with the process. I am upset that I now also have to find alternative way to get my medication. It sincerely is the only medicine that works. And it wont kill me like all the other drugs walgreens hands out. Pueblo city council needs to wake up and realize we are suffering and this helps. We need a SAFE reliable place to obtain the medicine.
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