SILT — The town government here has received “about 25 calls” from people interested in opening up a marijuana sales shop in town, either for recreational or medical marijuana, according to Town Administrator Pamela Woods.
But, she said, she could not divulge details about the calls because, at this point, it remains illegal to sell either medical marijuana or recreational pot within the town’s boundaries.
Woods said she has on her desk and ready for submission to the town’s planning and zoning commission and to the Board of Trustees two proposed ordinances, which would make it legal for either type of business to open up in Silt.
But, she continued, the P&Z and the trustees will not be considering the ordinances until meetings in February, in part due to the need to publish ordinances by certain deadlines prior to the meeting when the ordinances will be discussed.
Silt’s elected leaders had at one time been opposed to allowing any pot shops to set up operations in town, but in November reversed positions regarding recreational marijuana businesses to open up, as permitted by the state’s voters with passage of Amendment 64 to the Colorado Constitution in the general election in November 2012.
The town had earlier enacted what was called a “permanent” moratorium on consideration of medical marijuana business, and late last year the Board of Trustees, under the urging of several members, agreed to reconsider that moratorium.
The state laws generated by Amendment 64 allow for counties and municipalities to opt to prohibit any or all of the marijuana businesses now legalized by the state constitution, including cultivation, manufacturing of edible products and special marijuana testing facilities, all of which were included in the 2012 constitutional amendment ballot question.
A majority of Silt’s voters were among those who voted in favor of Amendment 64, and the change in the Board of Trustees’ direction on the matter is in evidence on the town’s website (townofsilt.org), which now features a link entitled, “Marijuana FAQs” or frequently asked questions.
The list of questions and answers describes how Silt residents might be affected by the new state and, if adopted, local laws.
One aspect of Silt’s changing position is the lack of recreational pot shops between Glenwood Springs and Mesa County.
Mesa County and the city of Grand Junction have banned all kinds of recreational marijuana businesses. Palisade, a community to the east of Grand Junction, has legalized medical marijuana but not recreational pot shops, and the City of Rifle has several medical marijuana shops but likewise has banned recreational marijuana sales.
Because of the timing involved with advertising, considering and approving (or denying) the proposed ordinances, Woods said it probably will not be until March 25 or later that medical marijuana shops will be permitted to open in Silt.
Retail marijuana approvals, she said, will not happen until even later in the year, if at all.