Steamboat City Council to tackle timeline for recreational marijuana ordinance
March 31, 2013
The Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday night will fine-tune the job description for its city manager and then discuss a timeline for crafting the ordinance that will govern recreational marijuana use here.
The council will hear updates from City Attorney Tony Lettunich and Public Safety Director Joel Rae on the state’s legislative reaction thus far to Amendment 64, which legalized the possession and consumption of marijuana for adults 21 and older.
Rae will propose that in June, the council should start discussing an ordinance to regulate all of the components of the amendment.
The components range from the cultivation of marijuana to the potential establishment of recreational pot shops.
City officials have said residents here will have an important voice in the upcoming discussions about how to regulate recreational marijuana in the city that overwhelmingly approved its legalization. Amendment 64 was passed with the approval of 69 percent of Steamboat voters.
Local governments have until October to adopt local licensing procedures and regulations, Rae said.
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He added that the city is waiting for lawmakers to introduce their bill that will regulate all facets of Amendment 64.
"It is staff’s recommendation that we wait to see this bill before a draft ordinance is presented to City Council for discussion or adoption," Rae wrote in a memo to the council.
The Denver Post reported last week that the joint House-Senate committee that is crafting the rules to regulate recreational marijuana is aiming to finish their work on the bill early next month.
Commercial pot is set to be sold in the state starting in January 2014.
"It appears that the recommendation of the Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force is to gradually enter into the realm of retail marijuana establishments by beginning first with the format, structure, and number of medical marijuana centers," Lettunich wrote in a memo to the council. "Then, after a three-year period to assess the situation, the legislature may modify the process."
Lettunich added that city staff "will continue to work on costs associated with the retail marijuana model to establish an appropriate fee structure."
In early February, the city joined a growing list of Colorado municipalities that have temporarily banned the establishment of private marijuana clubs after such clubs started popping up across the state before any rules were in place to regulate them.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com