Budtender Nikki Desiderio helps customers at the Helping Hand recreational marijuana store on Sept. 16, 2015 in Boulder. (Jeremy Papasso, Daily Camera)

Boulder’s strict local rules for pot businesses up for City Council review

BOULDER — Representatives of the marijuana industry, supported by Boulder City Councilman Macon Cowles, want the city to reconsider its approach to marijuana regulation and come in line with the rest of the state. But top city officials say the more stringent approach has resulted in a safer city while still allowing businesses to be competitive.

Cowles said the city’s regulations may have made sense when legal marijuana first exploded in 2009 and the industry included shady actors with criminal records, but the remaining 77 licensed businesses have shown themselves able and willing to follow exacting rules and shouldn’t have to live with a “zero tolerance” policy for any rule violation and city staff who have the discretion to revoke a license without an administrative review.

“Most people in the industry feel like it isn’t working that well,” Cowles said.

But in a memo to the City Council, City Manager Jane Brautigam and City Attorney Tom Carr defended Boulder marijuana regulations, considered by many to be much tougher than those in place at the state level. The Boulder City Council holds a public hearing Tuesday.

This story was first published on DenverPost.com