Oak Creek considers medical marijuana moratorium
January 28, 2010
If you go
What: Oak Creek Town Board meeting
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: Oak Creek Town Hall
Agenda: Items include consideration of a land use change request for the purpose of opening a medical marijuana dispensary and an update on the wastewater treatment plant project.
Steamboat Springs — The Oak Creek Town Board tonight will consider an emergency 60-day moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries. Officials say the moratorium would give the town time to review and amend its municipal code.
The moratorium would be in response to a request from a group of local medical marijuana providers, led by Jacob Wise, who want to open a dispensary at the corner of Nancy Crawford Boulevard and Sharp Avenue. The Oak Creek Planning Commission on Jan. 20 voted, 4-1, to recommend that the Town Board approve the dispensary request, with several requirements regarding security and advertising at the space.
At tonight's meeting, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in Oak Creek Town Hall, trustees have a broad range of choices before them. Based on the recommendation from the Planning Commission, they can vote to approve the dispensary, add or remove regulations recommended by the commission, deny the application entirely or adopt the moratorium drafted by town attorney Bob Weiss.
The meeting also will include a public hearing regarding the establishment of the dispensary business.
Mayor J Elliott requested that Weiss become involved in the process to give the town legal advice. He said he is worried that without state guidance, the town is left to figure out the procedure on its own.
"I want to talk to our attorney and do it as right as we possibly can the first time," Elliott said.
On Wednesday, a committee of the state Senate approved a bill that would impose more restrictions on medical marijuana patients and their doctors.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee by a vote of 6-1.
The bill includes provisions that prohibit doctors from taking payments from dispensaries or from operating in a dispensary, and it requires regular medical check-ups for medical marijuana license holders.
Wise said renovation of the downtown Oak Creek space is proceeding. The dispensary is planned for a space in the Circle R Building, in a former bank. Wise said crews are painting and preparing the offices despite the possible delay.
"We're painting and building cabinets," he said. "As far as we know, everything's all right."
Wise agreed to all the recommendations suggested by the Planning Commission, including the installation of security cameras and additional security measures. He said he wants to open the business legally, and the only request he has is to place bulletproof glass over the windows instead of bars, as the Planning Commission requested.
He also said although he thinks the law allows him to deliver medical marijuana to patients who are bedridden, he does not plan to do so except in the case of one cancer patient whom he already is caring for. He said he will refer those delivery requests to another medical marijuana provider.