Violations close dispensary
Building deemed unsafe for occupancy
After failing a building inspection, a Cortez medical marijuana dispensary was shut down by city officials on Friday.
Police swarmed The Medicine Man medical marijuana dispensary at 310 East Main Street Friday afternoon, and posted a warning on the door that the building was deemed unsafe for human occupancy. Prohibiting any person to occupy the building, the posting cited violations under sections 108 and 109 of the International Property Maintenance Code, which address unsafe structures and equipment along with emergency measures.
The business closure resulted after owner Gilbert Garcia submitted a renewal application on June 14 for a cultivation license. A subsequent inspection by building and fire department officials discovered “numerous life-safety violations,” according to city records.
A report from the Cortez Police Department specifically identified “significant areas of non-compliance with the rules established by the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division.” The first violation reported by Cortez Police Chief Roy Lane in a memo to city officials was an “inadequate security door” that didn’t contain approved commercial grade non-residential locks.
“It was immediately observed that the back door to the dispensary was wide open,” Lane penned in the memo. “The door could be easily entered by anyone from the outside of the building directly to grow rooms with flowering plants.”
Other violations noted by Lane were improper product labels on edibles, the discovery of nine unlabeled syringes containing a brown liquid substance, and plants not properly marked with patient numbers.
“It is my recommendation that upon the issuance of the license for The Medicine Man, that a stipulation be placed on the license that if a random inspection is done again and the shop is in violation that we be able to suspend or revoke the license as the City Council deems necessary,” Lane wrote.
The city council is slated to consider approval of the renewal application for on-site cultivation at the medical marijuana dispensary at its bimonthly meeting tonight at 7:30. City officials could recommend a public hearing to further review the application, deny the application completely or approve the renewal application with certain stipulations.
A report from City Manager Shane Hale recommends the later, and reveals that stipulations include banning sales until a certificate of occupancy is obtained, provide limited access to the building to keep current plants alive and issue a warning that a disciplinary hearing could be ordered if future inspections are failed.
Attempts to reach Garcia for comment were unsuccessful.
Sam Green/Cortez Journal