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Marijuana grow facility before City Council on Thursday

Plans for what would be Glenwood Springs’ second marijuana cultivation facility and retail sales shop on Devereux Road go before City Council on Thursday, with a positive recommendation from the city’s planning and zoning commission.

The proposal by a group of upvalley investors going by the name Osiris LLC is one of several applications that were already in process when council last month enacted a moratorium on new marijuana license and land-use applications while the city revisits its rules of governance for such businesses.

P&Z, after a June 23 public hearing, recommended major development permit approval for a 16,499-square-foot marijuana cultivation and sales facility at 2150 Devereux Road, located in the Colorado River Industrial Park, east of Hanson Equipment.

The location is about half a mile west of the city’s only other cultivation operation, the Green Dragon/Green Essentials cultivation, medical and retail sales facility at 1420 Devereux Road.

The city’s zoning regulations for marijuana businesses limit cultivation facilities to the single industrial zone district on Devereux Road. Cultivation and sales are a use by right in that zone, meaning a special use permit is not required under the existing rules.

Among the issues raised before P&Z was the potential for odors from the budding marijuana plants to emanate from the building, which has become an issue for other cultivation facilities in the state, including in neighboring Pitkin County.

Glenwood’s marijuana regulations state that “no discernible odor shall be projected beyond the exterior walls of the licensed premises.”

However, any violations and enforcement of that provision are driven by complaints from nearby residents or businesses.

If a formal complaint is filed, city building and planning staff will investigate and follow up to make sure the problem is dealt with, city planner Jill Peterson indicated when the question came up at the P&Z hearing.

Michael Gurtman of Aspen, representing Osiris, said the odor issue is being taken seriously, especially after problems have emerged at other existing cultivation facilities. He said the ventilation system they intend to install has been used in solid waste transfer stations and other odor-producing facilities.

Planning commissioners, as reflected in the minutes of hearing, were careful to make their recommendation based on the zoning requirements for marijuana facilities that are currently on the books, not what might come out of the city’s pending review of those rules.

Planning commissioner Mary Elizabeth Geiger commented that the land-use advisory panel’s role is “pretty narrow,” and suggested that the licensing step in the process is where any broader political concerns should be addressed.

If approved by City Council Thursday, the Osiris proposal would be allowed to apply for a city operating license. That request would then go before the city’s liquor and marijuana hearing official, same as other recent license requests.

Council recently upheld the hearing officer’s denials of two license requests for retail shops in the downtown area, one by the Green Dragon and another by a group of investors going by the business name Recreational Releaf Dispensary Bar.

A decision on a third retail license request that came in before the moratorium, from the operators of the existing Martin’s Naturals medical marijuana dispensary on Sixth Street, is still pending before hearing official Angela Roff.


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