For the second time in six years, Lakewood voters will determine the fate of retail marijuana in the city.
Lakewood City Council voted in favor of sending a citizen-initiated ordinance to adopt regulations governing retail marijuana stores and retail marijuana cultivation facilities in the city at an Aug. 24 council meeting. The ordinance, carried out by the proponent Vote Yes for a Stronger Lakewood, a campaign aimed at legalizing recreational marijuana in the city, garnered 6,671 valid signatures and was submitted to the Lakewood City Clerk’s Office on June 2.
The Vote Yes for a Stronger Lakewood group is partially funded by Ascend Cannabis, a marijuana company, Westword reported. Scott Embree, owner of Ascend Cannabis, said in a statement that Lakewood residents who are purchasing adult-use marijuana are going to Denver, Edgewater and other surrounding communities to do so. He said Ascend Cannabis estimates that Lakewood is losing millions of tax dollars to other communities because Lakewood residents are going to those communities for marijuana.
“As Lakewood works to bounce back from COVID-19 we need to keep those millions in Lakewood and use it to improve our streets and grow parks and open space. In the time of declining sales tax revenue to the city, we hope Lakewood residents will support this ballot initiative and keep Lakewood’s tax dollars in Lakewood,” Embree said in the statement.
If the ordinance is passed by voters on Nov. 3, it will allow for 10 existing medical marijuana dispensaries in Lakewood to sell recreational marijuana to adults ages 21 and older from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.