Carbondale tightening marijuana regulations |

Carbondale tightening marijuana regulations

Medical marijuana patch
File photo |

Carbondale trustees tweaked the town’s marijuana license ordinance Wednesday night, and another ordinance focusing on odor issues and the concentration of marijuana businesses is expected to follow.

One of the main changes of the marijuana license ordinance passed Wednesday is that the Board of Trustees can make new licenses contingent on conditions trustees specify.

The ordinance itself doesn’t define what conditions the board might require, but the changes came in response to numerous odor complaints the town has received from residences and businesses neighboring many of Carbondale’s marijuana businesses.

The new ordinance attempts to make regulations for medical marijuana, retail marijuana and liquor licenses largely consistent. In some instances town staff sought to apply existing liquor license regulations to marijuana licenses as well, such as the procedures for holding a hearing to suspend or revoke a license.

The Carbondale Police Department now has the authority to investigate violations of marijuana license conditions and request proceedings to suspend, revoke or not renew a marijuana license.

Applicants will need to provide proof of possession of the premises, such as a lease for a longer period than the license they’re pursuing, and a certificate of good standing from the secretary of state.

Trustees also discussed forcing all marijuana business employees take marijuana industry training programs that the town sanctions.

But considering that the town doesn’t require that of liquor establishments, the board settled for a lesser requirement. Should the town host a marijuana training event, a representative from each marijuana business would be required to attend.

Both retail and medical marijuana businesses will be required to furnish a list of names and addresses of employees and proposed employees. They’re also required to provide the town with fingerprints of their employees, a requirement that already applied to the applicants themselves.

What’s going to be more involved than the ordinance passed by trustees Wednesday is another set of regulations aiming to tackle odor issues and the clustering of marijuana businesses.

The board agreed on four directions in which to combat the dual problems and asked staff to draft ordinance language for a future meeting.

First, trustees are looking at capping the number of grow operations to three. The town already has a cap of five for retail grow operations, with no cap for medical grows.

Jay Harrington, town manager, said the grows are consistently the target of odor complaints.

Trustees also asked town staff to calculate the impacts of applying a 400-foot spacing requirement between marijuana businesses throughout town. This requirement already exists on Main Street between Seventh Street and Snowmass Drive.

The town is also looking at HVAC and odor mitigation requirements.

Finally, the board will consider putting some limit on the size of marijuana businesses, but it’s not clear if that will come in the form of a square footage limit or a cap on the number of plants.

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