Commissioners want more info on pot business
Pitkin County commissioners want more information about a business that wants to produce marijuana bubblegum at the Aspen Business Center before deciding on whether to approve its license.
And not only does the county need more information about whether exhaust fans were properly installed, whether a child care business is nearby the proposed location and how waste will be disposed, at least two commissioners want general input from the community about any concerns.
“This is the first marijuana manufacturing site in the county,” said Commissioner George Newman. “It begs a larger dialogue with the community. We’ve never really had that discussion.”
Newman suggested tabling the application from Aspen Mountain High and scheduling a work session that includes health care providers, officials from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, school representatives and members of the Valley Partnership for Drug Prevention.
“Good idea, George,” Commissioner Patti Clapper said.
The work session likely will occur in mid-March, said Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock.
Diane Van Os, co-owner of Aspen Mountain High, told The Aspen Times that she and a partner plan to manufacture cannabis-infused bubblegum among other products at the kitchen at the Aspen Business Center. The recipe for the gum came from a friend of Van Os’ whose father was being treated for cancer and didn’t like smoking marijuana or consuming edibles, she said.
“It tastes and smells just like bubblegum,” she said. “You can barely taste the cannabis.”
The application for the business was set to be heard by the county commission for the first time Wednesday. However, Peacock told them straight off the bat that staff wanted to continue the hearing to a later date because they need to confirm that an exhaust fan was installed and permitted properly.
“We need to understand what the odor implications are,” Peacock said. “It’s not clear to us now.”
Clapper said she thinks a child care facility at the business center may be nearby and wasn’t included in the applicant’s search for such businesses.
Commissioner Steve Child asked how the marijuana business would dispose of waste.
“Food waste in a dumpster might be attractive to kids,” he said.
The applicants did not attend Wednesday’s meeting.
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Pitkin County administrators are proposing a more than $142 million budget for 2020, which is about $6 million less than this year because of fewer construction projects and capital improvements.