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MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2021

🏙️ TODAY IN DENVER

Last week, Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses released its annual cannabis industry impact report, which has been published every year since Denver legalized recreational marijuana in 2014. Here were the highlights:

In 2020, the city of Denver recorded $715 million in cannabis sales — a 17% increase from 2019. That increase led to a comparable windfall in terms of tax revenues, with $70.4 million arriving in the city’s coffers from a variety of fees, sharebacks, and taxes. 

Where’s all that money going? 

  • $34.8 million went directly into the city’s general fund, which funds libraries, parks, street maintenance, etc. 
  • $24.6 million was set aside for investments in affordable housing and homelessness services, youth violence prevention, Support Team Assisted Response (STAR) program pilot implementation, leases, and other one-time equipment costs 
  • $8.8 million went toward marijuana enforcement, education, and regulation

Denver currently collects 26.4% in taxes on cannabis retail sales and 8.8% on medical sales. The city’s marijuana revenue has increased every year since 2014, but the Department of Excise and Licenses projects revenue will plateau by the end of 2021.

Also of note in the report: Dispensary burglaries were up from 122 in 2019 to 175 in 2020. The city is in the final stages of approving new safe storage requirements.
[CO Politics; Westword; High Times]

👉 What you can do: Read the full report. Then, hear the latest on cannabis delivery in Denver from subject expert Ann Marie Awad on today’s episode of City Cast Denver.

🍁 It really is starting to finally feel like fall with a high today around 86, and even cooler temps the rest of the week.

— Peyton Garcia, (@peytonmgarcia)

📰 IN OTHER NEWS

🏭 Claims from CDPHE whistleblowers unsubstantiated
Remember earlier this year when Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser launched an independent investigation into the claims of three whistleblowers who alleged the Air Pollution Control Division was forcing employees to falsify data in order to approve more permits? Well the report is in, and the investigation found that those claims were unsubstantiated. Basically, investigators conclude that while the APCD’s handling of permit applications wasn’t always awesome, it wasn’t technically unlawful. It’s complicated. A separate investigation by the EPA is still ongoing. [CO Newsline; CPR]
👉 What you can do: Refresh your memory on the subject with this episode of City Cast Denver from when the allegations first came out.


♀️ Women-only halfway house proposed for Park Hill
The Tooley Hall halfway house in Northeast Park Hill closed down in 2019 when city lawmakers denied contract renewals for the corporations running the facility. CoreCivic and GEO Group were criticized for inmate treatment and political contributions. Now, the vacant property may see new life as Project Elevate, a halfway house exclusively serving women. A contract between Denver’s Community Corrections division and Empowerment Program, a local agency offering support services to women, will be presented to local lawmakers next month. [Denverite]
👉 What you can do: Learn more about Empowerment Program.


🚷 Denverite takes to Tik Tok to call for change
This weekend, community members in neighborhoods across Denver led their City Council representatives on walking tours of the city’s most deteriorated sidewalks, highlighting the desperate need for better maintenance and equal accessibility of Denver’s walkways. But local pedestrian Jonathon Stalls has been advocating for those changes for nearly a decade. Now, he’s taken to Tik Tok to generate local awareness around the problem, and his 54,000 followers are ready to see change. [Denver Post]
👉 What you can do: Read more on the city’s longtime sidewalk struggle. Check out Jonathon’s Tik Tok account under the username pedestriandignity

🏟️ THIS WEEK IN DENVER SPORTS

Rockies (71-84)
VS Washington Nationals Mon., Tue., Wed.
@ Arizona Diamondbacks Fri., Sat., Sun.

🏈 Broncos (3-0)
VS Baltimore Ravens at 2:25 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3

Rapids (12-4-9)
VS Austin FC at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29

🎙 TODAY'S PODCAST

Legal Weed Delivery Exists in Denver … Sort Of
16 mins
In August, the City of Denver legalized cannabis delivery — but the actual implementation of delivery services hasn’t been easy. Host Bree Davies talks with journalist and podcast host Ann Marie Awad about what makes the delivery process so complicated.

🎁 Want City Cast Swag? 

Refer your friends to the City Cast Denver newsletter because it’s awesome and you love it — aaand because you can earn super sweet City Cast swag while doing it! Use your unique referral link to start referring now! 

🗓️ MARK YOUR CAL

+ TONIGHT: Open Mic Monday
Who says fun is only for the weekends? Sing, dance, and play during Open Mic Monday at So Many Roads Museum and Brewery (boasting one of the city’s largest public displays of Grateful Dead art).

+ TONIGHT + TUESDAY: Family Cooking Class
Bring the family together in the kitchen tonight at the Swansea Rec Center or tomorrow at the Cook Park Rec Center. Kids are free with a MY Denver Card.

+ TUESDAY: Ciders & Sides
At this week’s pairing event, Stem Ciders will partner with Denver General Goods, who will provide deliciously flaky, savory galette pastries to take your cider flight to the next level. 

🦙 MOMENT OF JOY

Photo: Alpacas at Tenacious Unicorn Ranch in Westcliffe, CO. (Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post/Getty Images)

Over the weekend, it was the 15th Annual National Alpaca Farm Days. Every year during the last weekend in September, alpaca farms around the country welcome the public into the pen to learn more about alpaca farming through live demos, farm tours, and fleecy alpaca cuddles. And these photos taken at LaZyB Acres Alpaca barn by The Denver Post’s Rebecca Slezak were the perfect start to my Monday.

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