Silverthorne considers first marijuana dispensary
August 17, 2009
SILVERTHORNE, Colo. – Silverthorne officials are pondering what regulations to put in place for medical marijuana dispensaries as they process the town’s first business application to sell the drug.
In the meantime, the town has issued a 90-day moratorium on other applications as they discuss what the hours of operations should be for the dispensaries and how close they can be to schools and other public places.
Town Manager Kevin Batchelder says the moratorium won’t affect the business application for High Country Healing because that proposed dispensary was already considered a drug store or pharmacy under the town’s old codes.
Batchelder says there’s little guidance on what rules to put in place for medical marijuana dispensaries because they’re relatively new. Town officials say they’re also paying attention to what other municipalities are doing to regulate dispensaries.
Frisco and Breckenridge, other Summit County towns, have also put 90-day freezes on processing applications for medical marijuana dispensaries. Before its moratorium, Frisco approved a permit for a dispensary at one of its shopping centers. Commerce City, about 20 miles northeast of Denver, is also drafting regulations.
There are about 60 medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado. More than 9,100 people are registered to use medical marijuana in the state, according to the state health department. Officials there have said that the number of people in the state’s medical marijuana registry has grown at such a rate that as many as 15,000 people could be signed up by the end of the year.
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In 2000, Colorado voters passed a constitutional amendment allowing medical marijuana dispensaries, making the state one of 13 in the country with such a law.
The state health department proposed limiting medical marijuana suppliers to helping only five patients at a time, but the state health board rejected the idea in July. The state’s chief medical officer, Ned Calonge, said the state needs to implement more restrictive rules on dispensaries or warned that the medical marijuana program could “continue to grow out of control.”