Silt and Basalt both moved Monday toward allowing retail marijuana stores.
They would join Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Aspen in the region in allowing recreational pot sales.
In Silt, town board members gave initial approval to two ordinances allowing the licensing and regulation of medical marijuana.
The old town board in February disapproved allowing medical marijuana, but approved the sale of recreational marijuana. However, state law has allowed only medical marijuana shops in good standing to apply for a retail marijuana license, so without any medical marijuana shops in Silt, retail sales were impossible. That restriction ends July 1.
A new board was elected in April, and members asked right away that the medical marijuana ordinance be brought back before them.
“The impetus for us [to bring it back] was that we had a holistic practitioner, a chiropractor, who wanted a medical marijuana license with his business, but since he couldn’t have one here, he went elsewhere,” said Mayor Rick Aluise. “We lost a good, solid, professional business. And some people want a medical marijuana license and not a full-blown retail license.”
Both medical marijuana ordinances were passed unanimously. A second reading will be held at the next meeting on June 9. If passed, the ordinances will go into effect 30 days afterward.
“It will be mid-July before we can take any medical marijuana applications,” Aluise said.
In Basalt, the council also unanimously approved two ordinances. One was a second and final reading of an ordinance that establishes zoning that dictates where pot shops can operate. They are restricted from neighborhoods with preschools and schools, travel corridors for schools and in the commercial core.
The council also voted 5-0 to approve the first reading of licensing criteria for recreational pot shops recommended by the town staff. A second vote is necessary on June 10.
Basalt’s rules would allow issuance of two medical marijuana and two recreational marijuana licenses.
Basalt also kept the door open for the possibility of allowing manufacturing facilities and kitchens for infused products after Town Manager Mike Scanlon revealed that an entrepreneur approached him with a desire to open a 20,000-square-foot facility in Basalt.
“Jordan Lewis approached us last week about building a 20,000-square-foot manufacturing facility,” Scanlon said. Lewis owns Silver Peak Apothecary in Aspen, and he is building a pot greenhouse in the Holland Hills area. He is also a partner in a business that aims to be one of the biggest investment firms in the marijuana industry.
Nancy Mercanti introduced herself to the Town Council and said she is interested in opening a kitchen in Basalt for a unique niche in the manufacturing business.
The council set no timetable on when it will discuss the latter issues.