Hayden Town Council moves marijuana cultivation ordinance forward | CraigDailyPress.com

Hayden Town Council moves marijuana cultivation ordinance forward

Matt Stensland

— On Aug. 6, the Hayden Town Council will make a final decision about whether to allow marijuana cultivation operations.

In a 6-1 vote, the town council approved the first reading of the cultivation ordinance, which would allow for licensed commercial growing operations. It would also limit the number of plants that can be privately grown to 12 per property.

Several council members who voted for the first reading of the ordinance said they wanted there to be an opportunity for a public hearing. That will take place at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 6, and then the council will take a final vote on the ordinance.

“I feel we should move forward so we can have the public hearing,” councilman Festus Hagins said. “We owe it to the citizens to have that as well.”

Councilman Jim Folley and Mayor Jim Haskins also thought holding a public hearing would encourage more residents to express their opinions.

“I view it very similar to alcohol at this point,” Folley said. “We did approve a brewery without hesitation.”

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Councilman Dallas Robinson was adamantly against allowing commercial grow operations in Hayden, where many generations of his family have grown up.

Robinson said the industry would add nothing to the livability or lives of Hayden residents.

“I live here, and I value the principals that are here,” Robinson said. “I see kids that have moved back here to raise their kids because they knew it was safe near their parents, near their roots.”

Hayden resident Rodney McGowen has proposed opening a grow operation in the Valley View Industrial Park in a building he owns, which has been underutilized.

Councilman Tim Redmond said the question before the council was a tough decision.

“My heart says no, and my head says he has a right, and I’m conflicted,” Redmond said.

Others are destined to consider opening operations if Hayden allows it.

Lyndsey Shaw, an owner in the Dank Franks marijuana business in Oak Creek spoke at the meeting.

“I look at the town of Hayden as a future location for a state-of-the-art facility,” Shaw said.

Many view allowing growing operations as an economic opportunity for the town. If the town council approves allowing grow operations, they will consider whether to ask voters whether wholesale sales should be taxed.

“I’m pro cultivation, but I think we need proper regulation,” resident Kurt Frentress said. “I think the town will benefit economically from it. I think it will show Hayden is open to new businesses.”

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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