GLENWOOD SPRINGS — City Council has set aside three hours each this Thursday and again Sept. 26 to hammer out the details of local regulations that will govern retail marijuana businesses operating within Glenwood Springs city limits after the first of the year.
Council work sessions will begin at 5:30 p.m. on those days, meeting in the Glenwood Springs City Council chambers at City Hall, 101 W. Eighth St.
Last week, the council formally voted to extend through the end of the year a moratorium on accepting applications for licensed retail recreational marijuana businesses to begin doing business under Colorado’s Amendment 64.
The moratorium, which was originally set to end after this month, is intended to give city officials time to craft local rules and zoning regulations for the new recreational marijuana trade, which will be in addition to state regulations and licensing procedures. The moratorium could be lifted if the city’s rules are finalized and in place before the end of the year.
“We have instructed our attorney to focus on this until we can get to a reasonable set of regulations for businesses to operate in the city,” Glenwood Springs Mayor Leo McKinney said following the Sept. 5 City Council meeting.
McKinney said it is his hope that the city’s regulations for marijuana retail, cultivation, manufacturing and testing facilities can be finished by the end of October, so that the city could begin accepting applications before the end of the year.
Amendment 64 passed with 55 percent of the statewide vote in the November 2012 election, and was favored by about 60 percent of voters in and around Glenwood Springs. The measure made it legal for persons age 21 and over to possess and grow their own limited amounts of marijuana for recreational use.
It also allows for the retail trade of marijuana, regulated in a manner similar to alcohol, starting in January 2014, unless prohibited by a local city or county. Glenwood Springs, along with other area municipalities, have decided not to ban retail marijuana businesses.
Under Amendment 64, existing medical marijuana dispensaries can be the first to apply to expand into the new recreational market. New retail businesses cannot start up until October 2014, under the voter-approved law.