When Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced recreational marijuana shops would be forced to close under the city’s stay-at-home order Monday, the response from customers was swift. They swarmed local dispensaries to stock up on products and caused enough of a stir that the mayor rescinded the moratorium just three hours later.
As more counties announce stay-at-home orders that will affect more than 2 million people in the metro area, cannabis industry personnel say it’s worth reflecting on the Denver announcement’s impact — both good and bad.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis deemed marijuana dispensaries “critical” retail businesses, meaning they’re allowed to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic with some restrictions. If a city or county individually imposes stricter rules on how they operate, however, those will supersede state regulations.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock changed course drastically Monday evening after announcing earlier in the day that liquor stores and recreational marijuana dispensaries would close across the city in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus.
His office made a new announcement around 5 p.m. via Twitter, saying that liquor and marijuana stores “with extreme physical distancing in place” will be exempt from the mandated citywide closure of non-essential businesses starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday and continuing through April 10.
The definition of extreme is six feet, or the normal amount of social distancing that’s now recommended, the city clarified.
Atlantic City’s top officials are set to ask a judge to order the immediate demolition of Trump Plaza after Mayor Marty Small said earlier this year that his administration’s goal would be to remove “the biggest eyesore in town.”
And while the city is seeking a court ruling for the demolition of the nearly 40-year-old building, its current owner said that preparations for tearing it down are already underway.
Trump Plaza was one of four hotel and casino resorts to close in Atlantic City in 2014 as a result from increased regional competition and oversaturation of the city’s gaming market. The property was once owned by US President Donald Trump.
Its current owner is New York activist investor Carl Icahn. Mr. Icahn previously announced that his plans for the shuttered casino resort involved its demolition to open room for new development. The property was expected to be imploded in the spring of 2018.
However, the demolition was postponed to the fall of that year because Atlantic City was just about to enter its most tourism-heavy months. According to reports from local news outlets from 2018, Mr. Icahn was apparently yet to obtain the required permits for the demolition of the 39-story building, which it is still unclear if he has eventually obtained.
Trump Plaza Now Classified as Imminent Risk to Public Safety
Mayor Small’s administration is looking to finally have the building torn down after pieces of its facade tore loose and crashed to the sidewalk in recent days.
City building department officials and firefighters inspected Trump Plaza following the incident to determine it is an imminent risk to public safety. Atlantic City Fire Chief Scott Evans said Thursday that there are “five big holes in this building” and that they are going to see more panels fall, which “poses threat to the surrounding area.”
Mayor Small said during a Thursday press event that his administration would file the necessary papers in the Superior Court, asking a judge to order the immediate demolition of Trump Plaza.
However, Mr. Icahn said yesterday that he has already announced plans to tear the former casino down. Hunter Gary, President of Real Estate for Icahn Enterprises, said Thursday that they are puzzled by Mayor Small’s actions and that they have commenced the process of demolishing Trump Plaza, including finalizing the necessary contracts.
Mr. Gary went on that “if the mayor had simply called us instead of holding a press conference, we could have updated him as well.”
On The Same Page
Mayor Small said during his press conference that his administration and Mr. Icahn have been holding talks over the demolition of the shuttered property for several weeks now and that “we are both on the same page about seeing this building demolished, but maybe with different paths.”
Icahn Enterprises did not provide a timeline for the demolition of the deteriorating building.
Mayor Small said earlier this year in his unofficial State of the City address that he wanted to see Trump Plaza torn down and that the former resort was “an embarrassment, it’s blight on our skyline, and that’s the biggest eyesore in town.”