Colorado Springs shuttering nine cannabis clubs

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The city of Colorado Springs has ordered nine cannabis consumption clubs to shut their doors.

It is the first crackdown on cannabis clubs since the Colorado municipality’s city council enacted a ban on the clubs on March 22, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Some clubs are appealing the cease-and-desist orders, while others are challenging the constitutionality of the ban in court.

The clubs first appeared after Colorado voters approved Amendment 64 legalizing recreational marijuana in the state. The law, however, banned public consumption.

Colorado Springs outlawed recreational marijuana sales in the city, but the clubs got around the ban by allowing patrons to “trade” cannabis for memberships, or sign affidavits saying the club was growing the legally allowed six marijuana plants for them.

The ban allowed clubs founded before Sept. 23, 2015, eight years to wind down their businesses. It also required owners to submit a cannabis consumption club application and a $200 fee by April 29 to secure a one-year renewable license for $90 plus registration fees, according to the Gazette.

Five clubs applied by the deadline, and only one has been approved for annual licensing that can be renewed for up to eight years.

Two applications are under consideration, and two were denied. The two clubs that were rejected and seven other clubs that did not apply for licensing have been ordered to close because they are unlicensed.