Winter Park set to ban "Mary Jane" from town limits
November 17, 2009
Winter Park is on the path to prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries within town limits.
Town Council adopted, Nov. 17, on first reading, an ordinance that would keep “Mary Jane” out of Winter Park.
Citing the recent Colorado Court of Appeals ruling that primary care givers “must do more to manage the well-being of a patient who has a debilitating medical condition than merely supply marijuana,” the ordinance would be the first in Grand County to enact an outright ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.
Several weeks ago, planners and managers met with county and law enforcement officials to consider a comprehensive approach to marijuana dispensaries. While most local municipalities are planning to extend moratoriums until receiving more direction from the state legislature early next year, Winter Park decided to move forward with a prohibition.
“It’s a little different than where I thought council and the community would be on this issue when we initially started looking at it,” said town manager Drew Nelson. But, he added, because Winter Park plays host to guests from “more conservative areas of the country,” council wants to be sensitive to the cultural sensibilities of visitors as well as the safety of its own community and children.
“If the state makes a rule mandating localities to enact regulations to deal with dispensaries, we will have to address it. Meanwhile town council believes it’s premature to allow these things with so much at stake at the state level,” Nelson said.
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Kremmling is the only other town in the county to have circumstantially banned dispensaries by adding a clause to its business license that requires businesses to comply with all federal laws in addition to state laws.
Only Hot Sulphur Springs has not enacted a moratorium.
The town voted, 6-1, Tuesday, to approve the ordinance on first reading. It will not become law until being adopted on second reading, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Dec. 1.
Only mayor pro-temp Rusty Thompson voted against the measure, stating that the moratorium should be enough to serve the purpose until the town has more direction from the state.
At least a dozen other town and cities in Colorado, including Avon, have banned dispensaries from their borders.
– Reid Armstrong can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610 or firstname.lastname@example.org.