ISSUES IN CANNABIS ZONING
In almost all jurisdictions, a cannabis business may not begin (or continue) to operate unless it abides by the local zoning regulations. The zoning regulations are usually arduous, and typically require a business or landowner to obtain a special zoning approval, such as approval by a governing board or planning commission. A public hearing with opportunity for public comment is often required. After receiving a zoning use permit, a business owner must then go through an extensive building permit application and review process. In addition, there is usually interplay between the state regulators and local government officials of how the land should be used.
Zoning laws and regulations vary by state and most often by local jurisdictions. Without the right resources at hand, the laws may quickly become confusing to a business owner.
Strict zoning laws have been implemented for marijuana facilities by the state and the city as part of the assurances given to Colorado voters. Under them, marijuana businesses are not allowed to set up in residential or mixed-use neighborhoods, near schools or childcare centers. Marijuana dispensaries are constantly being sued for being a "nuisance".
As a result, it is important for dispensary owners to ensure that they are on a parcel of land that is zoned correctly for its desired use. Otherwise, there are steep consequences.
HOW WE CAN HELP YOU
Our firm provides assistance to help ensure that all codes are met before real estate is purchased and/or leased and to also help dispensary owners come into compliance if they have been contacted by the state. If the parcel is not in compliance with state and local zoning codes, we work with state regulators to ensure that the parcel comes into compliance. This may be as simple as reviewing regulations, or may be as complicated as going through the special use process, including various applications, working with state agencies and going through the hearing process.
LAND USE AND ZONING RESOURCES IN COLORADO
Below are links to the major counties in Colorado and their applicable cannabis zoning and land use regulations: