The city of Glenwood Springs is ready for the advent of the new retail marijuana industry, after City Council last week established application and licensing fees for businesses to set up shop for recreational sales.
Council, at its Dec. 5 meeting, set a one-time application fee of $2,000 for all four types of recreational marijuana businesses allowed under Colorado’s Amendment 64, including retail stores, plus cultivation, manufacturing and testing facilities.
In addition, businesses will be charged a $1,000 annual licensing fee.
Voter passage of the 2012 ballot initiative made it legal for adults age 21 and older in Colorado to possess limited amounts of marijuana for recreational use. It also opened the door for state and locally regulated retail pot sales beginning Jan. 1, 2014.
Under the law, existing medical marijuana centers will be the first to be allowed to expand into the new retail market. New businesses not associated with an existing medical marijuana business cannot seek licensing until October 2014.
The Glenwood Springs council previously established local zoning regulations for recreational marijuana businesses.
Most operations are limited to the city’s commercial zone districts. Cultivation facilities are limited to the city’s single industrial zone district along Devereux Road.
Zoning rules will also prohibit new marijuana businesses from operating within 500 feet of a school, and establish a 325-foot buffer between such businesses.
A moratorium for the city to begin accepting and processing marijuana business applications remains in effect through the end of this year.
The application fee approved for Glenwood Springs is somewhat less than at least one neighboring town that has also agreed to allow retail marijuana businesses to open in town.
Carbondale has established a $5,000 fee for recreational pot businesses, plus a $400 special use permit fee for cultivation facilities.
However, some Carbondale medical marijuana business owners who wish to expand into the retail market have asked that the town revisit the application and licensing fees, especially since town voters also recently approved a local 5 percent sales and excise tax on recreational pot.