Denver adopts new marijuana storage rules to reduce dispensary theft


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Crimes targeting the legal marijuana industry in Denver increased from 2019 to 2020, according to police data.


The city of Denver has put in place new storage regulations for marijuana dispensaries in an effort to reduce crime in pottery stores.

The new rules, approved by Denver City Council before being passed by the Denver Excise and Licensing Department and the city attorney’s office on October 4, were proposed after Denver saw an increase break-ins and thefts from legal marijuana businesses in 2020.

According to data from the Denver Police Department, burglaries associated with legal marijuana have increased from 122 in 2019 to 175 in 2020, while other violent offenses – crimes such as robbery, aggravated assault, homicide and rape – remained unchanged. Violent offenses related to legal marijuana also increased by 64% between 2014 and 2020.

The DPD has released a handful of crime memos over the past two years, warning marijuana business owners of an increase in crime targeting the marijuana industry, which largely operates in species due to the plant’s federal ban.

Under the new rules, dispensaries in Denver are required to have at least one off-peak safe-deposit box for cash and processed marijuana products that is secure in a building and located in an area with “little access”. Frozen and refrigerated marijuana products such as concentrates, beverages and perishable edibles should also be locked in areas with restricted access after hours.

Stores that do not have room for a safe should install alternative security measures, such as physical barriers to prevent cars from crashing into the building, live video surveillance, sirens and security systems. alarm, or a security guard on site during opening and closing. hours. Dispensaries must comply with the rules by January 1, 2022.

“The feedback we received from law enforcement, the cannabis industry, our elected officials and the public was critical in developing the first safe storage requirements for marijuana in Denver history. “Ashley Kilroy, executive director of Excise and Licenses, said in a statement. “We hope these new rules will reduce the recent increase in dispensary break-ins and support the continued success of this industry, which has had many positive economic impacts for our city.

Future marijuana hospitality establishments with micro-sale licenses will also be subject to the new safety regulations; Excise and licensing will begin accepting applications for these companies in November.

Excise and licensing also opted for a new state law allowing walk-in and take-out windows to dispensaries. Temporarily authorized by executive orders issued by Governor Jared Polis during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the take out windows had to close in July when the executive order expired. The state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division cleared permanent take-out windows earlier this year, but local governments must approve them first.

Under Denver’s new rules, take-out and drive-through windows cannot display menus or signage around service windows, but portable menus can be provided. All customers must show ID before placing an order, and drive-thru windows must be bullet-proof glass, with security cameras recording front and rear license plates on all vehicles engine in the drive-thru lane.

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