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Grand Lake begins marijuana ordinance discussion

A screenshot of the Zoom stream of Grand Lake's board of trustees meeting shows the board listening to lawyer Brian Blumenfeld talk about marijuana ordinances on Nov. 28, 2022.
Kyle McCabe/Sky-Hi News

The Grand Lake Board of Trustees heard many public comments about the town’s new laws regarding marijuana on Monday, Nov. 28. Voters passed two of three ballot initiatives related to marijuana legalization and taxation in the town, approving the legalization and taxation of recreational — but not medicinal — marijuana.

Several community members pointed out the thin margins of victory and defeat for the initiatives — 2A, the measure which legalized marijuana sales, passed by six votes, while 2B, which would establish a tax on medical marijuana, failed by nine votes. Measure 2C, which will create a tax on recreational marijuana, passed by 18 votes.

One speaker said they voted against legalization and wants the town to make sure they and 46% of voters who voted “no” have a say in the ordinances. Another speaker told the board that no matter what rules and regulations they establish, half the town will love them and half will hate them, so the trustees might as well allow for more licenses and marijuana stores to make as much tax revenue as possible.



Commenters also voiced concerns about the location of marijuana businesses and what type of business owner would receive a license. The board has already indicated that the location will be limited to commercial zoning or planned development districts, which do not include the central business district. The licensing process will be a qualified lottery, and some community members asked that locals get preferential treatment in that process to avoid having a marijuana chain open a business in the town.

The board held the marijuana discussion during its workshop session, so Mayor Steve Kudron eventually ended it to move onto the regular meeting. Kuron said that Brian Blumenfeld, a lawyer who specializes in cannabis and attended the meeting, will take the public comments into account and come to the next meeting with some drafts of potential ordinances. Kudron said creating the ordinances will take several meetings, as the board does not want to rush the process.



Other business:

  • Headwaters Trails Alliance gave an update to the board during the workshop session.
  • The board approved the minutes from their Nov. 14 meeting and the accounts payable for Nov. 28.
  • Trustees approved a special events liquor permit for the Grand Arts Council’s Comedy Night event Dec. 30.
  • The board recognized Keith Everhart, the former director of public works in Grand Lake, and Tracy Temple, a former public works employee, for their contributions to the town.
  • Trustees voted to waive the fees for the Mountain Family Center to use the Grand Lake Center for their Secret Santa event.
  • The Grand Lake Area Historical Society and Grand County Water Information Network received approval to renew their leases for 2023 for space in the Grand Lake Center modular building they have used for several years.
  • Trustees approved a contract to replace the marina’s dock, which was damaged two winters ago. The town’s insurance covered emergency repairs that have been used since the damage happened and will cover the replacements as well.
  • The board held an executive session to discuss potential annexations of land into the town.
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