Kremmling imposes medical marijuana moratorium
October 6, 2009
Anyone looking to set up a medical marijuana dispensary won’t be looking in the Town of Kremmling, at least not for the next 180 days.
Kremmling became the latest Grand County town to declare a moratorium on establishment of such facilities when trustees adopted an emergency ordinance Monday night.
“It’s buying us a little time,” said Town Manager Ted Soltis.
The ordinance says the 180-day hiatus “on the submission, acceptance, processing and approval of all applications for licenses or permits relating to the operation of a business that sells or distributes medical marijuana will allow the Town Staff and Board of Trustees to investigate the Town’s ability to regulate such businesses, and to develop and implement any appropriate regulations deemed necessary by the Town Board of Trustees …”
Because the ordinance was deemed an emergency, it took effect immediately on Monday.
“It seems a logical way to go, said Trustee Erik Woog.
“If we’re the only community without something like this, we’re going to have someone knocking on our door,” Soltis said.
The Grand County commissioners and officials in Grand Lake, Fraser, Granby and Winter Park all have adopted similar moratoriums.
Soltis said managers from the towns and the county plan to meet so they can develop consistent regulations for medical marijuana across the county.
Medical marijuana was made legal in Colorado under a 2001 voter-passed constitutional amendment.
Amendment 20 authorizes a patient or a primary caregiver who has been issued a Medical Marijuana Registry identification card to possess no more than two ounces of a usable form of marijuana and not more than six marijuana plants, with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants that are producing a usable form of marijuana, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
“How the heck did they get this thing passed?” Kremmling Mayor Tom Clark asked, noting that marijuana remains illegal under federal law, which legally supersedes state laws.
In other states with similar laws, such as California, there have been legal clashes between federal law enforcement agencies and state and local officials over the issue.
“Communities are rightly nervous about this,” Soltis said.
There is speculation the Obama administration’s announcement that it intends to back off from raiding distributors of medical marijuana in states where it is legal has fueled the recent rise in dispensary applications throughout Colorado.
Kremmling Police Chief Scott Spade told trustees he is not aware of anyone approaching the town about establishing a dispensary.
– Drew can be reached at (970) 887-3334 ext. 19600 or at email@example.com