Nearly two dozen medical marijuana companies in southern Colorado that failed to apply for permits by a July deadline will get a second chance to stay in business.
An El Paso County commissioner approved the reprieve on Tuesday night, giving dispensaries, MMJ growers and related businesses until Nov. 1 to get their applications in for permanent permits, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. El Paso County is located just south of Denver and includes Colorado Springs, the state’s second-largest city.
The businesses will have to pay a $500 late fee, but it’s not too steep a price compared to the alternative – shutting down. Owners of medical marijuana companies initially had until July 1 to submit their applications and were then given a three-week grace period, but only 18 of the 41 businesses with temporary permits actually met the deadline. The others have been operating illegally since then.
Some county officials wanted to force the businesses that didn’t file the necessary paperwork to close down, arguing that they were aware of the need for a permanent permit but took no action. Others, however, argued in favor of an extension, pointing out that the county didn’t notify each individual business about the deadline.
Four of the county’s five commissioners voted last week on the proposal to give the businesses another shot, with two supporting it and two opposing it. Commissioner Peggy Littleton was on vacation during the meeting, leaving her with the tie-breaking vote this week.