Grand County BOCC delay moratorium for new marijuana licenses
December 8, 2016
The Grand County BOCC (Board of County Commissioners) has postponed a purposed moratorium of new marijuana licenses in Grand County.
At their Dec. 6 meeting the BOCC opened the subject up to public discussion.
On October 25, the BOCC first discussed the possibility of a moratorium. Commissioner Merrit Linke made the suggestion. Tuesday's meeting was the first meeting that the Board could have voted to install the moratorium. The state of Colorado marijuana regulations require a 30-day waiting period after the moratorium's notice is posted in the local paper of record. The notice was posted in the Middle Park Times on Nov. 3. The moratorium would last for one year from Jan. 1, 2017-Jan. 1. 2018. The BOCC decided they needed to reevaluate retail marijuana license applications to make sure they are moving in the best interest of the citizens, and taking a time-out from applications is the best way to do so.
The moratorium would not prevent dispensaries from renewing their licenses if they happen to expire during the yearlong hold. It would also allow licenses to be considered if they were filed with the state before the moratorium ordinance is put in place.
General Council member for Igadi in Tabernash, David Michel, made comments during the public discussion to express his concerns about the moratorium.
Michel said he was in favor of a moratorium, but the current ordinance introduced by the BOCC prohibits dispensaries with existing licenses from making internal modifications to their businesses. The ordinance puts a temporary moratorium on applications for alteration of premises for existing licenses. Michel said this would stand in the way of some projects that Igadi was planning to do in the near future.
He also suggested that dispensaries that currently hold licenses should be able to apply for new licenses if they want to expand their business, but the BOCC agreed that this would be an unfair move.
Grand County Clerk Sara Rosene said she would appreciate the moratorium so she and her staff could figure out an efficient strategy to help applicants better understand the rules, and walk them through the process of applying for a license.
Commissioner Jane Tollett said she would accept changing the language for the purpose of interior modifications, but then the Board decided they would put the matter off until they have further discussed the language in the ordinance regarding modification license laws.
The Board decided to delay the decision until they have had further discussion. County Manager Lee Staab said he would try to fit the continued moratorium discussion at the next meeting on Dec. 13.