Sunday, December 16, 2018 -
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West Side objects to marijuana business

The Pig n' Whistle being repaired after a 2010 fire, the site for the controversial marijuana businessA PROPOSED recreational marijuana business aiming to open its doors on West Colfax Ave. has triggered stiff opposition from citizens and institutions located near the long-dilapidated — and, some say, slowly rebounding — urban thoroughfare.

Among the locals opposing the granting of a city license to a firm called Cannabis for Health are a police commander, a drug rehabilitation facility, a homeless shelter for women and children, a neighborhood organization and most of the Jewish organizations close to the proposed dispensary.

The Jewish organizations along West Colfax, all Orthodox in their religious orientation, constitute the modern Jewish community on the West Side.

At a Jan. 21 hearing of the Denver Dept. of Excise and Licenses, opposition to the license was heard from representatives of Congregation Zera Abraham, Yeshiva Toras Chaim and the Denver Community Kollel.

Joining the chorus against the marijuana business were the Volunteers of America, the National Institute for Change, the West Colfax Association of Neighbors, Denver Police Commander Paul Pazen of DPD District One and a number of local residents and business owners.

Opponents cited fears of traffic hazards and increased crime, harmful influence on women and children in the neighborhood and negative impacts on business development along Colfax.

They also contended that the proposed business would violate rules governing the proximity of marijuana businesses to schools or childcare facilities.

Cannabis for Health owner Kevin Haverman, his attorney Brian Vicente and a local resident and businessperson testified in favor of the license.

Proponents said the new business would operate strictly under Colorado’s laws governing recreational marijuana sales, and that it would provide 24-hour security and operate surveillance cameras.

They also predicted that the dispensary would increase foot traffic along West Colfax, which they said would be a positive influence for local business

Messages left this week by the IJN for Vicente were not returned.

The applicants hope to open their recreational marijuana business at 4801 West Colfax, at the intersection of Wolff St., on what remains of the site of the Pig ‘N Whistle, a former barbecue restaurant, motel and gas station operated for decades by retired Denver boxer Eddie Bohn.

The rest of this article is available in the February 27 IJN print and digital edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at or subscribe to our online e-Edition.

Chris Leppek

IJN Assistant Editor |

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