Pitkin County gives marijuana shops time to obtain licenses
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
ASPEN – Pitkin County is giving medical marijuana businesses 30 days to submit an application for a required local license though the operations are technically out of compliance with county regulations at the moment.
A letter signed by Jon Peacock, county manager, is being sent to businesses of which county officials are aware, informing them of the need for a local license and how to get one.
The approach will give operators time to comply before any enforcement action is taken, Peacock said.
“Our goal is compliance. This is a new set of rules,” he said.
Prompting the action was a letter to the county from the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division of the Colorado Department of Revenue, which is processing applications for two operations in unincorporated Pitkin County. The applicant for both of them is K.I.N.D. Wellness Center, doing business as Stash, according to the state agency.
The state, as it moves through a backlog of applications for state licenses, is seeking verification that Stash has been approved for a medical marijuana license in the county.
It has not. Nor has any other medical marijuana business operating in the unincorporated areas of the county, as no one has yet submitted an application, according to county officials. It may be that operators are unaware of the need for a county license, Peacock said, though several representatives of the local medicinal pot industry attended the county commissioner meetings at which the local regulations were discussed and adopted.
Though the county is reaching out to Stash and other businesses, there may be others in existence that don’t receive the communication.
“We don’t know about the ones we don’t know about,” Peacock said. “I suspect as word gets out, we’ll be hearing from more citizens about potential operations and such.”
The county has received a citizen complaint about Stash’s lack of a county license.
Stash’s owner, who asked not to be identified, said he intends to apply for a county license. “I just wasn’t aware that the forms were available yet,” he said.
County commissioners adopted regulations and licensing procedures for medical marijuana businesses, including dispensaries and grow sites, in June. According to the rules, the task of issuing licenses rests with the county manager.
Businesses in existence before the regulations were adopted had until July 1 to apply for a license, but no applicants came forward.
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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has tested positive for the coronavirus. Polis and his partner, Marlon Reis, both have COVID-19 and are asymptomatic, the governor said in a statement Saturday night.