The Denver City Council is currently deciding if they would like to expand what has already been a 120-day prohibition stopping new entrepreneurs to enter Denver’s cannabis markets. Also, a special committee on Wednesday listened to cases on a central debate from Mayor Michael Hancock’s administration.

City officials’ assessment is that both the recreational and medicinal marijuana markets have supply almost meeting or even passing demand. The worry is that a surplus would ultimately lead to lawfully grown cannabis being sold in a black market. The administration shall be pushing the council for a while to extend the prohibition for another two years or so.

In the midst of examination of pending permit applications, the financial effect of the grouping of cannabis developing, in particular, neighborhoods, and whether more pot organizations may represent a risk to a few zones of the city, one exchange outlined a progressing pressure point between some legitimization supporters and controllers.

“We were asked by the voters to legalize it like we do alcohol,” Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman stated. She then began to ask various questions:

“I’m wondering why we are singling out the demand-supply question for marijuana, and what do we do about alcohol? Because there’s a black market for alcohol, there’s a black market for cigarettes. Do we have any regulatory (policies) that if they produce more alcohol, then we start clamping down on liquor stores? And why would we just single out one of the ‘sin’ industries, when it’s a legal product?”

Hancock’s cannabis policy adviser, Ashley Kilroy, responded: “Because marijuana’s still illegal at the federal level, and we are still operating today under the Cole memorandum. Under the Cole memorandum, the Department of Justice has told us that we have to have robust regulations and strict enforcement around these businesses. And so Mr. Romine told us that he believes we have plenty enough licenses that access to marijuana is not an issue (for those seeking it.”

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