Breckenridge may open Marijuana dispensary
Summit Daily News
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado – Folks with doctor approval for marijuana therapy may soon have easier access through a dispensary in Breckenridge.
Because it would be the town’s first such business, town council on Tuesday afternoon put a 90-day moratorium on licensing and location of retail marijuana establishments. Regulations such as operating hours, signage and proximity to such areas as schools are to be decided by the end of the moratorium.
Local attorney Sean McAllister, who represents the party interested in opening a dispensary, said his client is ready to open “as soon as the town authorizes it.”
“Everybody already is open – there are dozens of people in the county that are caregivers,” he said. “It’s in peoples’ homes, but they want to get it out of their homes because they have children. They want a place people can come that’s not in their neighborhood.”
Some 103 Summit County residents are registered for medical marijuana, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
But McAllister said the number of legal, medicinal smokers is likely more in the ballpark of 300 to 500, for registration isn’t always necessary.
“People can have recommendations, too,” he said, adding that recommendations must come from a physician with whom one has a relationship.
Most local people have to travel as far as Lakewood for access to a dispensary, he said.
Roaring Fork Valley may soon have its first dispensary in Carbondale, where a man plans to open his shop in the next month.
At the Breckenridge work session, council members questioned whether they were required to allow the dispensary to open.
Town attorney Tim Berry said the town is likely unable to prohibit the business practice from the town.
“I don’t think we can trump the (state) constitution,” he said.
McAllister said in a phone interview that there are 25 or 30 dispensaries along the Front Range.
“What’s shocking to me is the press and elected officials who find it so shocking,” he said, adding that distribution of medicinal marijuana has been legal in Colorado for eight years.
Breckenridge police chief Rick Holman said dispensaries in other municipalities are often located in industrial districts or old strip malls.
He said the type of business appears to be an increasing trend that’s “very prosperous.”
McAllister started Sensible Colorado, a nonprofit seeking to promote education, research and policy changes toward a system “where drug use becomes a health issue, not a crime issue,” according to sensiblecolorado.org.
Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or email@example.com