City of Steamboat reshaping medical marijuana regulations

Marijuana-infused products, off-premises cultivation enter license discussions

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— Colorado’s booming medical marijuana industry is presenting regulatory challenges at the state and municipal levels, and Steamboat Springs is no exception.

Steamboat Springs City Cou­­­n­­­­cil gave initial direction last week as to how city staff should revise the city’s medical marijuana regulations in order to comply with state laws adopted this year. City Council’s wide-ranging discussion of the issue included how to address licensing for manufacturers of marijuana-infused products and for off-premises cultivation, whether to change the city’s current limit of three licenses, and more.

City staff attorney Dan Foote said a proposed, revised ordinance could be presented to the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission in December or, more likely, January. The revised ordinance then would go before City Council for public review and adoption.

City Council made two primary votes last week about what those revisions should include.

First, City Council voted, 6-1, to remove Steamboat’s requirement that one of the city’s three licensed medical marijuana businesses be a co-operative model. The vote supported changing the co-operative model to a for-profit business, largely in response to the state’s House Bill 1284.

“To operate as a nonprofit co-op has become very difficult with the new law,” said JJ Southard, operations supervisor for the co-operative Natural Choice in Steamboat.

Councilman Scott Myller opp­­­­­osed that vote.

Second, City Council voted, 5-2, to allow three infused-product manufacturing licenses in the city, for the creation of products that can range from baked goods to tinctures. Foote said those licenses likely could be attached to existing medical marijuana centers.

Council members Jon Quinn and Kenny Reisman opposed that vote for very different reasons.

Throughout last week’s conversation, Quinn supported removing the city’s limits on medical marijuana licenses and instead, treating the industry in a similar fashion to liquor establishments.

“I’ll be honest with you, marijuana should not be illegal,” Quinn said. “This should be above board, this should be something people have the option to do in their own home.”

Reisman, conversely, said he did not want to open the door at all to licensed infused-product manufacturers. Lisa Kamieniecki, who attended last week’s meeting and discussed the manufacture of marijuana products under the business name “Sweet Dreams,” lives next door to Reisman on Kelhi Court.

“If I vote for any (manufacturer licenses), then it could wind up in the house next door to me,” Reisman said. “There’s no way I’m voting for that.”

Reisman added that legally, marijuana is not in the same category as liquor.

“Until you have it legalized, with the same regulations as alcohol, I think it’s different,” he said.

Foote said the city has not issued any licenses for infused-product manufacturing.

Under the state laws detail­­ed by House Bill 1284, he

said, medical marijuana centers would have a separate license for infused products and for off-premises cultivation, potentially placing as many as three separate licenses under one roof.

That would mean the city’s current threshold of three medical marijuana licenses could expand to nine licenses or more.

What to do about primary caregivers, Foote said, also will play out in the city’s upcoming discussions about proposed ordinance revisions.

“Really, the big issue is that we had one kind of business before 1284, and now we have four different kinds,” Foote said. “Those things (have) to be revised in our existing ordinance.”

Comments

JJ Southard 4 years, 1 month ago

This was about an hour long discussion last Tuesday the 19th at the council meeting. Just to clarify, there was also a vote to keep the 3 licensed Medical Marijuana Centers (MMC) in town currently limited to 3. This article kinda portrays that this will change, but no it will not. What HB1284 primarily regulated in this industry is where the marijuana is grown. The Off-site Cultivation Premise Licenses (OPCL) and the Manufacturer of Infused Product (M.I.P.'s) Licenses are issued through the Department of Revenue, same with enforcement (therefore local municipalities need not worry about funding this aspect of the industry). An MMC had the option of including a M.I.P.'s License and has the option of finding the needed commercially located cultivation facilities as the MMC needs to supply it's patient numbers. The number of listed patients that assign that MMC as their center dictates the number of patient plants the MMC can grow. A M.I.P.'s license is a wholesale entity that must marry with an MMC or multiple MMC's to dispense their products and the M.I.P.'s License holder is not allowed to sell any of their marijuana in raw, bud form from their garden. So, with that said.......

"That would mean the city’s current threshold of three medical marijuana licenses could expand to nine licenses or more." This statement is misleading. There will only be 3 MMC's in Steamboat, but there will be multiple licenses issued for the different facets of the 3 MMC's. Sweet Dreams, LLC will NOT be a store front, retail operation. Neither will any of the OPCL's.

Mr. Reisman, none of the grow facilities nor a M.I.P.'s kitchen will be approved for a residence. So you can rest assured that these facilities will not be in your neighbors home. All the licenses associated with MMC's must be in located and approved though the guidelines of the local municipality's ordinance, if there is no local ordinance, HB1284 covers that community. All facilities associated with the commercial production of marijuana have been strictly zoned out of residences and away from schools, etc.

I'm guessing the 4th type of License the City plans to offer may include a Assessory Occupational Caregiver License? Not sure on that one. It was not touched on in this meeting. But, this will allow for cultivation in residences, with safety guidelines I'm sure.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 1 month ago

If he is quoted accurately then Reisman is an ignorant dummy. Does he really know so little about SB zoning to think that just because a commercial activity is legal within the city that it can happen in a single family residential neighborhood?

The dirty little secret that no ones is willing to mention is how local mmj businesses are renting so much warehouse space that would otherwise be vacant. But notice how we are not seeing real estate people complaining about mmj hurting real estate values? That's because they know mmj operations have kept commercial warehouse vacancies relatively low.

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freerider 4 years, 1 month ago

Hey Reisman ....be afraid , be very very afraid , if somebody has a some evil plants growing next door to you , you might turn into a black guy and start singing Bob Marley songs

woooooo scary stuff

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jeannie berger 4 years, 1 month ago

freerider, you are so right! It happened to my son, dreadlocks and all...LOL

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freerider 4 years, 1 month ago

Hey Reisman ...those plants will eat you alive

I read all about it in a government hand-out

Warning : Marijuana plants eats small babies and children , then to satisfy their hunger they feed on adults as well ...one particular strain will even eat a cow

creepy stuff

Little shop of horrors comes to the boat

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