As I described on Tuesday, the city is about to embark on a new phase of its commercial marijuana venture. In short, the city is going to license a whole bunch of new “medical” marijuana shops and then close all the “gifting” shops that have proliferated since the adoption of Initiative 71. The idea is to bring these shops into a more open and licensed regulatory environment (while simultaneously making it easier to get medical marijuana).
Part of these new regulations are rules concerning where these medical marijuana shops can ultimately open. The two main provisions are that no shop can open within 400 feet of another licensed marijuana shop. Nor can any shop open within 300 feet of any nursery, primary, or secondary school or recreation center (provided the school or rec center are not located on a commercial lot).
And the distance rule will be enforced with a fairly straightforward interpretation of distance. Namely, you draw the shortest line connecting the lots in question and determine if it’s more or less than 300 or 400 feet, depending on the provision.
So taking that rule, I generated a simple map for Georgetown, drawing circles with radiuses of 300 feet at the corners of the qualifying schools and rec centers in Georgetown. Thus any lot in the map that is even partially in the red circles above cannot host a post shop. (You can mentally slide the circles around the school lots to see what other lots they reach, but generally I drew them to show the greatest coverage)
As you can see, this takes out a lot of the middle part of Wisconsin Ave, which already hosts several I-71 shops with dreams of becoming a dispensary. M St., however, is fairly wide open, So is the east side of Book Hill (which also already hosts multiple I-71 shops). Of course, that does not mean that these open spots will be overrun with licensed dispensaries. Remember that they can’t open closer than 400 feet to another dispensary.
This is not to say dispensaries will be bad. Or good. It’s just another demonstration that whatever form they take they will not have the saturation of tacky I-71 shops we’ve seen across the city in the last couple years.
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