Snowmass bans new pot shops — for now
September 24, 2013
It turns out that Snowmass Village does have to deal with pot.
The town previously said that it would not be adopting regulations for the licensing of recreational pot businesses because it wasn't expecting any applications. However, municipalities must either do so or opt out of Amendment 64, the statewide referendum that legalizes marijuana sales and consumption, before Oct. 1 in order to comply with state law, according to a memo from Town Attorney John Dresser.
The Snowmass Village Town Council voted on Monday in favor of temporarily banning any new pot facilities through July 1, although at least two elected officials said they'd like to revisit the issue when they have more time to discuss it. The emergency ordinance was proposed in order to meet the Oct. 1 deadline.
"We really don't have much choice but to do this at this point," Dresser told the officials.
July 1 is when individuals who don't already possess a medical marijuana business license can apply to open a recreational operation. There are no medical marijuana businesses in Snowmass Village now.
Councilman Jason Haber said he'd like to address regulations "well before" July 1.
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Mayor Bill Boineau said he supported the temporary moratorium.
"This will give us probably a better understanding of what the state's doing, what other communities are doing, to deal with the general issue at hand," Boineau said.
Generally across Colorado, most smaller communities have chosen prohibition regarding Amendment 64, Dresser told the council.
"I don't want to change the name from Snowmass to Snowmamsterdam," Boineau said. However, he noted that the public did vote in favor of Amendment 64. The measure passed with 75.44 percent in favor in Pitkin County.
"What better survey than the vote we had?" Boineau said.
Haber also said that he favored the ordinance so that the council would have more time "to have these conversations."
"I would challenge us at the same time to agendize a discussion item to get started on these in the next month," Haber said.
Boineau cautioned that the council might have too much on its agenda over the next month — its first 2014 budget session is Oct. 9 — but said he'd like to discuss it in the next six months.
The council voted 4-0 in favor of the ordinance. Councilwoman Markey Butler was absent.
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