Medical marijuana biz expansions deemed in violation |

Medical marijuana biz expansions deemed in violation

CARBONDALE, Colorado – Existing medical marijuana businesses here have been put on notice that any modifications to their establishments since June, including the introduction of infused products or any premise changes requiring a building permit, are considered out of compliance with state law.

“The state of Colorado prohibits the establishment of all new medical marijuana businesses, which includes the expansion of existing medical marijuana businesses, until such time as rules and regulations are established and in place,” according to a statement put out by the town’s building and planning department.

The state has imposed a moratorium on any new medical marijuana centers until July 1, 2011, to allow the state time to process license applications, and for local governments to implement their own local rules and regulations.

“The town interprets this restriction to include existing facilities to the extent that there is no local permission to add new ‘services’ or components to their operation, such as infused products or grow operations,” the town’s statement reads.

Town Manager Tom Baker said some businesses have assumed they could expand as long as they existed prior to June 30 of this year and had applied for the proper permits and licensing.

However, that’s not the case, according to the town’s read of the state’s restrictions, he said. And any violations could be subject to fines and/or jail time.

The Carbondale Town Council is also considering its own moratorium ordinance prohibiting any new medical marijuana facilities locally until Dec. 31, 2011, so the town can draft and implement a range of ordinances to regulate the industry.

Currently, the town has 11 medical marijuana centers operating within the town boundaries. The proposed ordinance, including the extended moratorium and the local terms and conditions under which such businesses are to operate, will be presented at the town board’s Dec. 14 meeting.

The rules are intended “to ensure that all medical marijuana growing, distribution and sale is done safely, securely and without adverse consequence to the citizens, and [to establish] consequences for violations,” according to the statement released by the town.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Department of Revenue has begun its enforcement of House Bill 1284, ensuring that local medical marijuana facilities are in compliance with state regulations.

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