Eagle gives the green light to medical marijuana | AspenTimes.com

Eagle gives the green light to medical marijuana

Pam Boyd
Eagle correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

EAGLE, Colo. – Add Eagle to the list of Western Slope communities that allow medical marijuana dispensaries.

Tuesday night in a split vote, the Eagle Town Board decided to allow dispensaries as a special use in town. But the board also opted to firm up the rules governing such operations before actually issuing a business license for one. The ordinance that details operation of medical marijuana dispensaries will come before the board in two weeks.

Back in August, Dave Manzanares applied for a business license to operate a medical marijuana dispensary in town. Colorado voters have approved the operation of such businesses, but whether or not to allow the use has been left up to individual communities. In neighboring Gypsum, for example, the Town Board rejected dispensaries outright. In August, Eagle Town Board members opted to place a three-month moratorium on business licenses for dispensaries to research how such operations could be regulated.

On Tuesday, town staff brought back an ordinance detailing the rules for dispensaries as a special use in Eagle. The ordinance generally patterned the special use rules after the regulations imposed on liquor licenses. The rules also called for a larger permit fee of $1,000, recognizing the additional staff time that would be involved in processing a medical marijuana dispensary application and called for a 100-foot separation between dispensaries and schools, child-care centers and pediatric doctor offices.

Manzanares urged the board to approve his license, noting he is a lifelong resident of the Eagle River Valley who plans to operate his dispensary in an ethical and responsible manner.

“I believe marijuana is all good in its medical purpose,” he said. “I would hope the board would look past opinion at this point and apply Colorado law.”