Oak Creek marijuana business ban is headed to voters | SteamboatToday.com

Oak Creek marijuana business ban is headed to voters

— The Oak Creek Town Board began its Thursday meeting by voting, 4-0, to place a citizen-initiated question of whether to ban medical marijuana centers on the November ballot, but medical marijuana discussion didn't end there.

Mary's Medical and Elevation Wellness Center both have operated for one year, and their municipal licenses were up for review.

During the hearings for license renewal, the Town Board was determined to stick to its land-use code in enforcing requirements for the businesses as outlined in its recent work sessions.

Chuck Wisecup said Mary's Medical was out of compliance with the land-use code because it was found that owner Jacob Wise was growing marijuana in the space. Although that grow operation is in compliance with state regulations — Wise has to grow 70 percent of his Mary's product — it is in violation of the land-use code because that area is not approved for commercial agriculture.

The board voted, 4-0, to table Mary's license renewal until Aug. 25 so the Oak Creek Planning Commission could identify the conditions of the grow and see whether it can be allowed.

His license for Rocky Mountain Kitchens, a medical marijuana infused products manufacturer, was approved 3-1.

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Skyler Hartman, who has four licenses for companies he runs out of Elevation Wellness Center, also went before the board. Wisecup said he had not inspected the building in about a year, and the board voted, 3-1, to renew the licenses provided Hartman passed the next inspection.

Wisecup opposed all of the licenses because he said he wants to represent his constituents' feelings on dispensaries.

But the Town Board is feeling more confident in approaching the convoluted issue with more options.

"When these first came through, we had no choice," Wisecup said.

Mayor Nikki Knoebel said the board has done a lot of research, held work sessions and learned from what other towns are going through.

Wise said he would do whatever he could to be in compliance with town codes and state regulations as the landscape constantly evolves at both levels.

"We've all done what was right at the time," Wise said. "But things have changed."

Board seat remains vacant

Five-year Oak Creek resident Dave Maris was the lone resident who submitted a letter of interest for the vacant seat on the Oak Creek Town Board.

The seat opened up when Trustee Lawrence Jaconetta resigned in early May after an altercation with another South Routt resident resulting in his arrest on suspicion of harassment.

Maris, who applied for the position once two years ago, said he's always been interested in the workings of the town.

"As a board member, I would like to build a larger sense of community, so all the residents of Oak Creek feel proud to be a part of our town," Maris wrote.

With trustees Wendy Gustafson and Dawn Smith absent, the three trustees and Knoebel voted by secret ballot. The vote was a tie, and the board tabled the issue until the next meeting when there was a full board and to allow time for others to apply.

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com

Other Town Board actions

■ Approved, 4-0, a resolution to accept a grant agreement for $45,000 from Great Outdoors Colorado to fund the transformation of the town’s old settling ponds into a park area.

■ Approved, 4-0, republishing and reorganizing the town’s municipal code at the cost of $7,000 through the Municipal Code Corporation. The town originally had budgeted $12,000 for the project.

■ Approved, 4-0, matching the South Routt Economic Development Council’s $500 contribution for downtown beautification.

■ Approved, 4-0, setting cleanup day for July 16. The community yard sale will be July 9.

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