Hayden bans medical marijuana shops | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden bans medical marijuana shops

Dispensaries, cultivation and manufacture centers barred

Zach Fridell

— The prohibition of the medical marijuana industry in Hayden passed without a comment Thursday evening. No members from the public spoke, and no members of the board added to the ongoing conversation about the prohibition of medical marijuana industry in the town during a Town Council meeting.

Hayden is the first municipality in the region to place an outright ban on the medical marijuana industry, even as other areas of Routt County are limiting the number or location of businesses.

The measure dictates that "medical marijuana industry is strictly prohibited within the town of Hayden." Council members unanimously approved the measure, proposed by council member Tim Redmond, in about a minute.

After the meeting, Mayor Lorraine Johnson said it was clear from previous meetings that residents were not interested in having a medical marijuana industry in Hayden. She said the meeting hall was filled with people who wanted to speak against a possible rezoning to allow a dispensary in the downtown area.

"It's been very adamant from the town, they don't want any type of dispensaries, cultivation, none of it," she said.

Although other towns have considered the dispensaries because of the projected revenue they could bring in from taxes, that wasn't part of the conversation in Hayden.

Recommended Stories For You

"We never really went into the discussion of revenue because it was point-blank told to us the town doesn't want it," she said.

Council member Tom Rog­alski said it's also because medical marijuana still is against federal law.

In forming the ordinance the town referred to the "White Paper on Marijuana Disp­­­ensaries" created by the California Police Chiefs Association's Task Force on Marijuana Dispensaries.

Johnson said the town also could be held liable if the federal government ever stepped in.

The personal use and personal cultivation of medical marijuana by medical marijuana cardholders still is allowed in Hayden — the state law did not allow municipalities to rule on personal use.

The Town Council defined medical marijuana industry to include medical marijuana centers — formerly known as dispensaries, medical marijuana-infused product manufacturers and growing operations. The prohibition of those specific industries is granted to municipalities under Colorado Medical Marijuana Code.

The short Town Council motion followed several months of discussion. The Town Council in May voted unanimously to not amend the town's land-use code to specifically allow medical marijuana dispensaries, and the current action specifically prohibits the industry. The council's first hearing of the ordinance banning marijuana businesses was July 16. Before this ordinance, the business was implicitly not allowed by the land-use code.

In other action

■ The board also created a town manager search committee to narrow the field of 30 applicants to about 10 to bring to the board. According to a rough schedule, the panel of residents will bring its top 10 applicants to the board in early September. The board will further narrow the field to three to five candidates and aims to get a new manager in the position by mid-November.

■ Finance Director Lisa Dowling told the board that only one food stand at the Routt County Fair has applied for a sales tax stamp. She said she or someone else would go to the stalls and ask them to pay the $25 fee and submit the required paperwork.

Go back to article