Moffat County delays decision on medical marijuana

In other action

At its regular Tuesday meeting, the Moffat County Commission:

• Approved, 3-0, warrant resolutions for the month of May totaling $370,722.88, and payroll warrants ending May 29 totaling $418,523.28.

• Approved, 3-0, a social services department electronic funds transfer and accounts payable totaling $321,669.83.

• Heard a road and bridge department monthly report from director Bill Mack.

• Approved, 3-0, the Clayton minor subdivision 18.828-acre parcel divided into three lots.

• Discussed the Zufelt road and alley vacation in Blue Mountain.

• Hosted a quarterly intergovernmental agency meeting.

The Moffat County Commission delayed its decision Tuesday to extend the medical marijuana dispensary moratorium.

The commission met with Moffat County Attorney Jeremy Snow to discuss options surrounding the current moratorium, which ends June 15, medical marijuana legislation, and potential rules and regulations.

The commission originally implemented the moratorium in December 2009 to prohibit any dispensaries from opening until more state regulations had been developed.

In a workshop May 27, Snow, former county attorney Kathleen Taylor and the commission reviewed House Bill 10-1284, which amends the Colorado medical marijuana code.

The commission reached general agreement to extend the moratorium until the bill’s fate had been decided.

The bill addresses several issues surrounding the medical marijuana industry in Colorado, including licensing and dispensary regulation.

Gov. Bill Ritter signed the bill into law Monday.

Commissioner Tom Mathers said Tuesday he was ready vote on the matter, but no resolution for the extension of the moratorium had been drafted.

Snow agreed to draft a resolution for the commission’s consideration during a special meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday.

“My recommendation would be that we extend the current moratorium for six months from the day of the special meeting,” Snow said.

Mathers said his reasoning for wanting to extend the moratorium was to prohibit a dispensary from opening in the time between when the county’s moratorium expires and state regulations from the bill have been finalized.

The commission has several options to regulate how it will manage dispensaries now that the bill has been signed into law.

The county can prohibit the growth and cultivation of medical marijuana within the county except for residents with caregiver status or residents with a medical marijuana license, Snow said.

The county can adhere to state regulations contained within the bill, or create its own regulations. Any regulations against dispensaries the county creates must be no less stringent than the state’s, Snow said.

The commission also discussed the possibility of bringing the matter before Moffat County voters.

“As the rules are developed, there is no point in making a decision until we know what they are going to make a decision about,” commissioner Tom Gray said.

Snow said opponents of the bill may file a “facial challenge,” which challenges the statue’s constitutionality.

“It appears that the proponents of the medical marijuana lifestyle are going to do what is called a facial challenge,” Snow said. “If they do that, the statute can’t become effective until that is resolved.”

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