By Steve Elliott
An audit released on Thursday found serious problems with how Denver licenses, tracks and manages the medical marijuana industry.
Denver has the most medicinal cannabis dispensaries in the state, but the city's management of the industry has been "ineffective" and "inefficient" and even poses "substantive risks to the city," according to the report, which Denver Auditor Dennis Gallagher called "devastating," reports Jeremy P. Meyer at The Denver Post.
The problems potentially cost Denver millions of dollars in tax revenues, and one member of the audit committee even claimed the oversights put neighborhoods and citizens at risk.
According to the report, city officials didn't even know how many dispensaries were open in Denver, and could not provide a map of their locations. The audit report offered 20 recommendations for Denver's Department of Excise and Licenses to fix the system.
Several problems, including incomplete, inaccurate or inaccessible records, were identified in the report. Other problem areas were lack of formal processes or policies for licensing; bad coordination between the city and the state Department of Revenue; unenforced deadlines for key steps in the licensing process; and poor management and staffing, according to the audit.