City council to consider dispensary license appeals

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Four dispensary owners are trying to appeal their license rejections to city council, the only appeals process in place.

Council members said they needed more information, but would try to help the business owners, who mostly are dealing with new locations for one or more parts of their operations.

The situations were complex, and Lee McRae, who handles licensing for the city, told council members he would send them information about the cases.

“This is their appeal,” McRae said. “The only way to appeal is through this body.”

Some council members, like Bernie Herpin, were eager to help the business owners.

“I’m a little unclear on why we’re not doing this,” Herpin said of approving the dispensary owners’ requests. “These are small business owners who need to make some minor adjustments and we’re a business friendly council.”

McRae said there were complex legal issues that would affect  the dispensary owners at the state level.

“There will be outside issues on all of these,” McRae said.

Council decided to let the dispensary owners go forward with their applications, which are due by Sept. 30, while they collect information and weigh the issues.

“My concern is, if we make a decision here today, we’re legislating on the fly,” said council president Scott Hente. “And this body gets into trouble when it legislates on the fly.”

Council said that in allowing the dispensary owners to go forward with their applications, they would refund the $2,000 application fee if the owners are not ultimately approved to go forward after council deliberates.