A temporary Denver law that was set to expire in 2020 was amended to an indefinite and permanent status through a vote by the Denver City Council. The change to the city law came after it was apparent that the industry didn’t perform as expected after voters passed a 4 year social-use law in 2016. Businesses have been apathetic about the social-use license due to the city’s limited timespan and, as of now, only one business that is still in operation has such license.
Kendra Black, Denver City Councilwoman, stated: “With less than two years available, it’s difficult to get financing. If you’re leasing a space, most leases, they’re three to five years. And then you’d have to get funds to build out the space. And so it’s just really not feasible for a prospective business to open a business in that time frame.”
Members of Denver City Council are also contemplating another adjustment that will continue to relax the rules for social-use businesses, specifically social-use business distance requirements. The current law dictates that social-use businesses have to be 1,000 feet away from a school, day-care, addiction treatment centers, and city recreational facilities or pools. The minimum distances for social-use businesses may be changed by Council members to help encourage more social-use license applicants.
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