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Marijuana ordinance taking shape

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Marijuana ordinance taking shape

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By Lynn Burton

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Sopris Sun Staff Writer

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Faced with a state-mandated deadline of Oct. 1, the Carbondale trustees are moving closer to nailing down a licensing ordinance to regulate the retail marijuana trade that Colorado voters authorized when they approved Amendment 64 last November.

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Among the consensus agreements reached at Tuesday night’s meeting:

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• The trustees will cap the number of retail marijuana stores to five, at least temporarily;

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• All four categories of the marijuana industry now allowed under state law will be allowed in Carbondale: retail sales, cultivation, manufacturing and testing;

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• The ordinance will prohibit marijuana establishments from opening within 500 feet (as measured by pedestrian routes) from schools, daycare centers and other marijuana outlets;

• The trustees will amend the town’s criminal code to address public consumption of marijuana.

The trustees indicated the public consumption amendment will be patterned after the town’s open container law, which prohibits drinking alcohol in parks, streets and other public places.

Police Chief Gene Schilling told the trustees that public smoking has not been a big problem since Amendment 64 went into effect. With small amounts of marijuana possession now legal in Colorado, and nothing on the books in Carbondale about smoking it in public, Carbondale police have been left with having to ask smokers to put out their joints or to take them home.