COLORADO: Boulder County commissioners are scheduled Thursday to consider whether to impose a moratorium on the startup of the retail sales of recreational marijuana in unincorporated parts of the county.
The county Land Use Department has requested the 10-month timeout, proposed to begin Oct. 1, to give the county time to develop local retail marijuana regulations and, if warranted, suggest related county taxes and fees.
If the county doesn’t have a moratorium, it faces having to come up with its own rules and regulations between now and January, when non-medical marijuana retail sales are set to begin in cities and counties that haven’t adopted prohibitions.
Commissioners have set a public hearing on the moratorium proposal before voting.
A moratorium wouldn’t prohibit the continued sale and growth of medical marijuana within unincorporated parts of the county.
But the commissioners also are scheduled Thursday to hold a hearing and possibly take a vote on several updates to the county’s regulations about where medical marijuana centers can locate, and under what conditions.
Medical marijuana testing and research facilities would be added to the types of businesses covered by Boulder County Land Use Code’s regulations about the locations where medical marijuana centers are allowed, under draft rules the County Planning Commission is to consider Wednesday.
The current county code requires that all types of medical marijuana businesses be at least 1,000 feet away from the closest below-college-level school or day care facility or alcohol or drug treatment center.
The amendment being proposed by the county staff would retain that 1,000-foot setback requirement for retail medical marijuana dispensaries.
But the requirement would no longer apply to businesses engaged in medical marijuana-infused product manufacture, growing operations and research facilities, as long as none of those businesses don’t also have a dispensary on the same property.
Although commissioners approved the county’s current medical-marijuana Land Use Code provisions in June 2010, they didn’t adopt licensing regulations for such businesses until September 2011.
The county got its first medical marijuana licensing application in July 2012, and Liz Donaghey, a county staffer who oversees that licensing, said that as of early September, most of the 48 applications the county has received are in the process of being reviewed. Several were withdrawn or denied, and only two county licenses have been awarded, but those two applicants, and 37 others are legally operating while they await county decisions on their licensing or whether their operations comply with land-use requirements.