Kremmling board hears marijuana pitch
KREMMLING — Marijuana was at the top of the agenda Wednesday night in Kremmling as the town’s trustees heard a pitch from an industry insider who hopes the town open itself up to the cannabis business.
Mark Wellstone, owner of the Blue Heron Dispensary in Oak Creek, spent several minutes explaining why he believes Kremmling should allow for the opening of retail marijuana businesses and highlighted his past business experience and small town roots as selling points.
“It is a huge honor and responsibility to be the owner of a business in the cannabis industry,” Wellstone said. “It is something I do not take lightly, whatsoever. There are a lot of eyes on the industry from small towns and communities like Kremmling that have chosen to take a more cautious approach to potentially embracing the industry.”
Wellstone said that many cannabis business owners such as himself think of themselves as being “in the compliance industry first and the marijuana industry second” in reference to the required adherence to state and local regulations regarding marijuana. Wellstone further stressed his experience working in the small community of Oak Creek and his roots in a small Minnesota town.
“I spent the last three-and-a-half years honing my craft and learning how to run a business like this in a small rural setting,” Wellstone said. “I know what it takes to operate in a town where not everybody embraces what you are doing. I have learned over in Oak Creek how to manage the concerns of the community and how to be respectful of those who don’t agree with what we are doing.”
Wellstone’s comments were preceded by the meeting’s public comment period during which one local citizen stood and asked the board not to open the community to marijuana businesses.
Kremmling currently does not allow any marijuana-related business ventures within the town’s formal boundaries.
The town board thanked Wellstone for his presentation but made no statements regarding their views on his presentation. Likewise, the board took no formal action regarding Wellstone’s request during the meeting.
Town mulls recycling program
The Kremmling town board moved on with its Wednesday meeting to discuss potential solutions to the town’s recycling program.
Kremmling citizens previously were able to dispose of their recycling at a specified location in town at no charge. When the town of Kremmling recently entered into a new contract for trash service, the contract provider required the town to enter into a new payment system for recycling.
Citizens are now being charged $3 per bag for recycling drop off through Aces High, the town’s current trash disposal contractor.
The recent initiation of the recycling charge caused some contention in the community, which the town’s trustees hoped to counter with education.
“We were not going to get to continue business as usual,” said Erik Woog, town trustee. “Almost all the recycled loads went to the dump. It basically became a free dumpster.”
Woog stressed the need to inform the community that the old paradigm, under which citizens could drop off recycling at no charge, is no longer possible and that some system of payment for recycling would need to be worked out with Aces High.
Three different options were discussed including sticking with the current $3 per bag option or a $1 per resident fee that would be assessed on all residents and would allow all citizens to drop off recycling without additional charges at the time of drop off. The third option was a monthly membership program wherein citizens would pay a monthly fee that would cover all recycling fees. The program would restrict recycling drop-off to only those citizens who participate in the fee program.
The board took no formal action regarding the recycling program though several trustees expressed interest in the monthly membership fee program.
“Lets find out more information about that option,” Kremmling Mayor Grover Pryor said.
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