Basalt Colorado To Lift Medical Marijuana Ban

COLORADO: The Town of Basalt is poised to repeal its 2-year-old moratorium on medical marijuana businesses, while keeping a 1-year-old stay on recreational pot shops in place for six more months while it drafts rules to govern that industry.

At a special meeting Tuesday night, the council decided unanimously that it was high time to lift the ban on the medical industry, albeit in a limited way.

In a unanimous vote, the seven-member body directed town staff to update Basalt’s medical marijuana code by Dec. 10, meaning it could be approved — and the moratorium lifted — before the end of the year. 

Yet Basalt Town Manager Mike Scanlon urged more caution in regulating the recreational pot industry that was born last year with the passage of Amendment 64.

That industry, he said, remains far more turbulent and unsettled than the 13-year-old medical marijuana sector in Colorado, and Basalt could benefit by waiting to see how other towns and cities tweak their regulations in the coming months.

In the state of Washington, which also has legalized recreational pot, “they have realized that they are going to be going back again and again,” to get the rules right, Scanlon said. “Medical is more settled. Recreational isn’t.”

Scanlon came into the meeting with the suggestion that the council extend the moratorium on recreational cannabis for two years, but several council members argued for a less lengthy ban.

“I feel that two years is too long, said council member Karen Teague. “A lot of us voted for constitutional Amendment 64 because we wanted to see an end to destructive drug wars and cartels … and if we can’t get the [legal] product out there at a reasonable price, then that’s not going to work.”

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