By Brittney Phua, Stapleton Resident and Realtor
Consternation and controversy among some Stapleton residents is brewing over a new use for a former coffee house. A medical marijuana dispensary is slated to occupy the former location of Perk and Play in Stapleton.
The irony is that Perk and Play was a neighborhood hang-out for mothers and their children. They served coffee, crepes and snacks and had a great indoor play area.
The medical marijuana dispensary is scheduled to open for business in the next few months. While the younger, single crowd at Stapleton might care less, families are more concerned about this new business and the risks it brings to our neighborhood.
OK, I do have a horse in this race. I have a family and love Stapleton as a great family area. One of the controversies surrounding the opening is that the proposed Marijuana Distribution Center is within 1,000 feet of The Denver School of Science and Technology – within eyesight of the high school! Because the business obtained a sales tax license before the date stipulated in the city’s new ordinance, the dispensary will be grandfathered in and will be permitted to operate in close proximity to the school.
Many Stapleton and non-Stapleton residents have been awaiting Monday’s Denver City Council meeting to find out what new rules, if any, will apply to these medical marijuana dispensaries.
The new rules that were adopted will require all dispensaries to be licensed. Moving forward, these stores can’t be located within 1,000 feet of schools or child-care facilities. On-site marijuana consumption is prohibited. Lastly, felons are not allowed to open a dispensary.
Despite the new rules, many Stapleton residents have remaining concerns. Known acts of violence have accompanied these dispensaries. They can be targets for theft of cash and marijuana. Another question is whether this kind of business will effect Stapleton real estate values.
The Stapleton United Neighors is holding a forum on January 20th at 6:30 pm at the Denver School of Science and Technology, High School Commons, 2000 Valentia St. where city and state officials will be in attendance to hear concerns and answer questions. This meeting bound to display the difference of values between the diverse segments of Stapleton residents.
If you have school age children, however you feel about having medical marijuana dispensaries in your neighborhood, you may want to stay tuned to the debate going on at Denver’s City Council.