Broomfield cleans up dispensary licensing process

BROOMFIELD — The Broomfield City Council unanimously passed a set of amendments Tuesday to its marijuana dispensary licensing process aimed at making the code more fair for applicants.

The city has been slow to allow for the operations of dispensaries in the years since recreational cannabis shops were legalized in Colorado in 2014. But in March 2021, the Broomfield City Council passed an ordinance that opened the city up to pot sellers. 

Over the past year, would-be operators have been working through the application process in advance of an October 2021 deadline for a final report from the Broomfield Selection Committee tasked with vetting those applications. Applications deemed sufficient would then be selected in a lottery to receive a license.

During a city review, it was discovered that applications from “substantially similar applicants, but with different owners” had applied to open pot shops, Broomfield city attorney Nancy Rodgers said. 

“They did this in order to increase their chances in the lottery,” which was permissible at the time under city code, she said.

At around the same time, dispensary chain Terrapin, through holding company Centroid Holdings Inc., claimed in a lawsuit that Broomfield city and county clerk Erika Lew undermined the “fairness of proceedings” in the city’s application and lottery system used to select the three dispensaries that will be permitted to open up shop in Broomfield by allowing multiple applications to be submitted by the same applicants.

“It was very important to the council that we have a diversity of applicants,” Rodgers said, and amendments to city code were drafted to prohibit the same business from submitting applications through different owners. 

Now that those amendments have been passed, staff and the selection committee will restart the application processing effort, which was paused for the past few months.

BROOMFIELD — The Broomfield City Council unanimously passed a set of amendments Tuesday to its marijuana dispensary licensing process aimed at making the code more fair for applicants.

The city has been slow to allow for the operations of dispensaries in the years since recreational cannabis shops were legalized in Colorado in 2014. But in March 2021, the Broomfield City Council passed an ordinance that opened the city up to pot sellers. 

Over the past year, would-be operators have been working through the application process in advance of an October 2021 deadline for a final report from the Broomfield Selection Committee tasked with vetting those applications. Applications deemed sufficient would then be selected in a lottery to receive a license.

During a city review, it was discovered that applications from “substantially similar applicants, but with different owners” had applied to open pot shops, Broomfield city attorney Nancy Rodgers said. 

“They did this in order to increase their chances in the lottery,” which was permissible at the time under city code, she said.

At around the same time, dispensary chain Terrapin, through holding company Centroid Holdings Inc., claimed in a lawsuit that Broomfield city and county clerk Erika Lew undermined the “fairness of proceedings” in the city’s application and lottery system used to select the three dispensaries that will be permitted to open up shop in Broomfield by allowing multiple applications to be submitted by the same applicants.

“It was very important to the council that we have a diversity of applicants,” Rodgers said, and amendments to…