Ballot measure to allow marijuana sales in Grand Lake may pass by a hair
Voters also asked whether the town can impose an additional sales tax on recreational and medical sales
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the current status of the race, with the final upload of votes called at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9.
Soon, Grand Lake residents may be able to have a dispensary for medical and recreational marijuana in town limits, depending on how the final votes swing in this election. Voters decided on three ballot initiatives on the sale and taxation of marijuana. Issue 2C asked voters if they would allow the operation of marijuana businesses in Grand Lake. Issue 2A asked if an additional sales tax of 15% could be levied on the sale of recreational marijuana and Issue 2B asked the same of a sales tax on medical marijuana. If approved, these would take affect on Jan. 1, 2023.
As the numbers now stand, 120 voters have voted to allow dispensaries in town, and 119 have voted against it. The sales tax for recreational marijuana sales will likely pass, with 123 yes votes over 109 no votes. The medical marijuana sales tax will likely not go through, with 121 votes against it and 112 for.
Since the ballot initiative legalizing the sale of marijuana is literally neck and neck, passing by only 1 vote, residents likely won’t know the final results until at least Nov. 17. On that day the county clerk will finish counting any ballots that were rejected after they were sent in but were corrected by the Nov. 16 deadline.
If dispensaries are allowed in town, the medical and retail sides would be combined into the same business, and retailers could only operate in the commercial zoning district or planned development districts, not in the central business district. Any additional approved sales taxes would be on top of the town’s existing 5% sales tax.
Grand Lake has imposed a moratorium on the sale of marijuana since it was legalized 10 years ago, but over the past two years, trustees felt they were losing out on tax money generated from sales, and marijuana has become more socially acceptable.
If approved, the town will use the revenue from medical and recreational sales for the town’s general fund.
According to Grand Lake Town Manager John Crone, if 2A and 2C pass and 2B fails, then the town would allow a dispensary to sell both retail and medical marijuana, but not impose a tax on medical marijuana sales.
Crone said that the Grand Lake board of trustees will workshop the rules and regulations for possible dispensaries, such as how many dispensary locations there will be, on Monday, Nov. 14 at 4:30 p.m.
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