Colorado Dispensary Owner Defying Moratorium; Fined $300 A Day

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Photo: Carol Hirata/Windsor Beacon
MediGrow owner Lazarus Pino said he’s ignoring Windsor’s moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries. “I’m here for the patients. I provide medical care.”

‚ÄčMediGrow, one of three medical marijuana dispensaries operating in Windsor, Colorado, has been ordered to close in compliance with a 75-day moratorium the town board passed on Dec. 16. But MediGrow’s owner, Lazarus Pino, said Tuesday he plans to stay open.

“I’m here for the patients,” Pino said, reports Lisa Mehring of the Windsor Beacon. “I provide medical care. What’s so bad about helping people medically? I’ve invested a lot of money in this place. I wish they would let me operate.”
Since the moratorium on Dec. 16, the Windsor Police Department has issued a citation every single day the business has remained open. Every citation comes with an appearance in Windsor Municipal Court.
If a judge finds MediGrow in violation, the dispensary could face a $293 fine with a $7 surcharge for every day the business remains open.
Chief of Police John Michaels said there’d been no problem in issuing the daily citations. “We go in, we issue our citation, and we make a little small talk,” Michaels said.

“Windsor welcomed us when we opened,” Pino said. “I was honored. The chief of police has even invited us to all of the [Town Board] meetings. Business has also been good, and spirits are good, too.”
MediGrow consultant Gary Burke agreed. “It’s actually getting better, from what I’m seeing,” he said of the number of patients visiting the dispensary since the moratorium. “People are cheering us on, apparently.”
Legal issues arose when two other dispensaries in town were allowed to stay open while MediGrow was told to close its doors. City officials told MediGrow it was left off the list of dispensaries that could continue to operate.
The two dispensaries which weren’t forced to close are A New Day Wellness and In Harmony Wellness.
Pino said his business has done everything the city asked of them. “I did my research and even held back my opening,” he said. “I want to do everything right, and I don’t want to hide. I’ll pay may taxes. I don’t know what the problem is, and I can’t understand why it’s this way.
“We are like the pioneers for this,” Pino said. “We’re gonna be here, no question about it.”
MediGrow is scheduled to appear in municipal court on Feb. 11.
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