Folks in Rockrimmon are not convinced the Pure Medical storefront that opened in December is anything more than a drug dealer in the neighborhood.
Pure Medical dispenses medical marijuana and has two stores in Colorado Springs — it’s store in the shopping center at Rockrimmon Boulevard and Delmonico Drive and another downton on Tejon Street.
Here’s a look at the area from FlashEarth:
Even though access to the windowless store is restricted to people with official medical marijuana cards, folks in Rockrimmon are upset about its existence in the same shopping center where neighborhood kids get candy and soda at the convenience store, or doughnuts, deli and sub sandwiches and pizzas.
Some residents have reached out to their homeowners associations.
The Comstock Village Homeowners Association sent out a survey to its 540 homeowners to get a sense of the feeling toward Pure Medical. Their survey was a response to a group of homeowners who spoke at a recent board meeting.
The Council of Neighbors and Organizations, or CONO, which represents the HOAs in the city, also is concerned.
It’s unclear what, if anything, anyone can do about the dispensaries until the Colorado General Assembly acts on proposals to regulate the budding industry.
The problem has been 10 years in the making. In 2000, voters decided to amend the Colorado Constitution in 2000 to legalize medical marijuana for “persons suffering from debilitating medical conditions.”
The issue erupted in 2009 after the U.S. Justice Department announced it would not actively prosecute medical marijuana businesses. Didn’t matter that marijuana remains an illegal drug under federal law. Dispensaries blossomed.
In fact, Sheriff Terry Maketa recently said there are about 38 medical-marijuana dispensaries in El Paso County but only about three in unincorporated areas.
Colorado Springs has a task force studying what to do with the dispensaries.
And the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which maintains a medical marijuana registery, is lobbying state lawmakers for laws to allow better regulation.
For example, it doesn’t want doctors to be able to profit from recommending people to the medical marijuana registry. And it wants tools to ensure doctors have not had their registrations revoked or suspended by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Besides being a political issue, it’s a legal question being played out in state courts. Marijuana dispensary owners are suing for the right to sell pot, arguing communities can’t ban the dispensaries.
Some cities, including the Denver suburb of Centennial, counter that cities can prohibit businesses that violate federal law.
Fourteen states permit medical marijuana, but pot remains illegal under U.S. law.