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Denver: Judge rejects lawsuit seeking to block opening of cannabis retail outlet by Silver Stem Cannabis

The Denver Post reports

Silver Stem Fine Cannabis will open next month around the corner from Bonnie Brae Ice Cream

A Denver judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by eight people who live near Bonnie Brae, clearing the way for that neighborhood’s first dispensary to open next month.

District Court Judge Christopher Baumann ruled April 28 that the residents’ Dec. 12 lawsuit was filed one week too late and therefore outside a 28-day statute of limitations.

“This court is not in receipt of any competent evidence to justify an alternative finding,” he wrote.

The judge’s order is a win for Silver Stem Fine Cannabis, which asked the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses last March to let it transfer one of its existing retail and medical licenses to 2331 E. Ohio Ave., just around the corner from Bonnie Brae Ice Cream.

Public hearings were held over two days in June, after which a hearing officer recommended that Excise and Licenses approve the application. On Nov. 7, it was approved.

“We are looking forward to opening our Silver Stem store in the Bonnie Brae neighborhood next month,” said Stan Zislis, chief business development officer at Silver Stem.

“We have begun construction to make our store a welcoming member of the neighborhood. We want to thank all of the neighbors who supported us as we went through this licensing process and look forward to serving you all really soon,” Zislis added in a statement.

Under state law, residents can ask a judge to review city licensing decisions by filing a complaint within four weeks of the decision. In the Bonnie Brae case, that meant by Dec. 5.

On Dec. 12, the eight residents — seven men and one woman, all of whom live within five blocks of the future Silver Stem location — filed their complaint. They accused Excise and Licenses of ignoring residents who are opposed to the cannabis dispensary.

“The existence of a marijuana store in their neighborhood is against their needs and desires and will negatively impact their neighborhood,” the lawsuit stated.

In his order Friday, Baumann did not determine whether the city was right or wrong to approve the license, only that the complaint was filed too late and therefore had to be dismissed.

The plaintiffs were Mark Gould, Sarah Kienast, Rohan Ambli, Brendan Murphy, Robert Ghia, Steven Dupont, Jeffrey Thomas and Peter Coursey. They were represented by attorney Robert Burk with the Centennial law firm Burk & Burk, who declined to comment.

Silver Stem was represented by Adam Stapen with the firm Dill Dill Carr Stonbraker & Hutchings in Denver. The Department of Excise and Licenses was represented by Assistant City Attorneys Gennevieve St. Leger and Reginald Nubine. They declined to comment.

Source:  https://www.denverpost.com/2023/05/03/bonnie-brae-denver-dispensary-silver-stem-fine-cannabis/

Also it is worth reading this for some more background

https://silverstemcannabis.com/BonnieBrae

Thank you for attending our virtual neighborhood meeting.

If you missed the meeting, you can watch the recording of it below along with a copy of the presentation. Please, feel free to use the form at the bottom of the page to submit any questions you have.

A Neighborhood Partner

Silver Stem’s mission is to deliver the finest quality cannabis products to its adult customers in a safe and professional environment while educating and providing a memorable experience.

We are more than just a dispensary. We were among the first to launch a cannabis business in Colorado and, with 10 stores across the country, we bring stability and a reputation of being responsive and accountable. We’re also a strong partner for neighborhoods where we operate, working with organizations such as Valverde Neighborhood Association, Adopt-A-Highway, and Littleton’s Historic Downtown Merchant Association. In addition to paying  $2.8 million in taxes to the city of Denver, we’re also actively philanthropic by contributing more than $350,000 to charitable organizations, including Integrated Family Community Services, Partner Colorado Foundation, multiple firefighters associations, and various scholarship funds.

 

By locating a store at the intersection of Bonnie Brae, Cherry Creek, Wash Park, and Cory Merrill we’re seeking a sophisticated clientele, not the typical customer many expect. With nearly 100 medicinal cannabis patients in the surrounding neighborhoods, we already have an active customer base in the area and we expect our high-quality products will be compatible with the neighborhood character and customers.

Our Operations:

Silver Stem Fine Cannabis is among the original operators in the Colorado cannabis industry, and we have a longstanding history of implementing best security practices. By opening a store in the Bonnie Brae area, we know we must meet the standards of the community.

As a result, this location will be discreet, with tasteful external branding and signage. Our products won’t be visible from the outside as they will be further inside the store, behind security. We also plan to invest in multimodal transportation options, including placing bike racks in front of the store to help reduce car traffic and parking.

This location, like each of our other stores, will prioritize the safety of our consumers, employees and the neighborhood. Our products for sale are located in a locked sales room, which only allows patrons to be granted access after completing a preliminary ID check. IDs are scanned with a typical ID scanner as well as a second scanner to enter their information into the point of sales system that is able to detect fake IDs. The property’s perimeter will be under a 24-hour live video surveillance and will have a loudspeaker for operators to engage with would-be perpetrators and give  security warnings.

Silver Stem’s operations have been crafted by their team of industry professionals, who have over 50 years of combined cannabis industry experience. Our proven business, operating, security, environmental impact and quality control plans have prepared us to serve medical cannabis patients and retail customers with a proven compliance record.

 

Exceeding State and Local Regulations: 

 

Silver Stem Fine Cannabis exceeds state and local regulations, security requirements and product quality control and tracking.

  • The state requires strict seed-to-sale tracking. Silver Stem utilizes the state marijuana inventory tracking database, METRC, and there is no product in any of our facilities that is not recorded in METRC.
  • External cameras track public consumption and other unauthorized activities, which results in customers being banned from our stores.
  • Our stores each have advanced intrusion detection (glass break sensors, door/window sensors, and motion detectors) that notifies our independent security firm immediately of any unwanted intrusion. Silver Stem goes above and beyond by providing panic buttons to employees, security guards when necessary, and 24/7 live camera monitoring.

 

There are also strict state and local zoning and distancing requirements. Silver Stem’s proposed new location in Denver meets all of these requirements. 

Addressing Common Concerns:

Crime Prevention: Silver Stem also has a medical marijuana store located in Littleton and the Chief of Police there has stated that marijuana sales in his jurisdiction have had a minimal impact on police operations.

Security: Silver Stem also has dispensaries located in Denver that have been granted extra police patrols by the DPD Community Resource Officers for each location. Silver Stem has learned how the design and use of the environment and building features can help reduce the risk of crime. The company also goes above and beyond and has subscribed to 24/7 live security monitoring of all its retail stores via their existing security cameras. This means most security threats are de-escalated before an alarm is even triggered.

Parking: Silver Stem will have a limited impact on parking in the East Wash Park/Bonnie Brae area. The average time a customer spends in the store is just four minutes, which means fewer parking spaces will be necessary for customers. Existing street parking in front of the store will accommodate most parking needs. Bike rack installation will encourage multi-modal transportation.

Odor: Silver Stem follows best practices for odor control in its retail stores by using carbon filters placed in areas where marijuana and products are stored, including vaults and on the sales floor. No marijuana odor can be detected from outside our stores. Plus, Silver Stem’s lease requires the company to install odor control air systems to prevent odors from infiltrating adjacent tenant space or the exterior of the premises.

Youth Use: In our stores, multiple ID scans, seed-to-sale tracking, diligent internal enforcement, and security systems restrict youth access to marijuana products or third-party buyers who may re-sell to minors.

Learn more about Silver Stem below and then submit any questions or comments you would like addressed during the virtual neighborhood meeting.

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