Hayden officials seek input from residents about marijuana | CraigDailyPress.com

Hayden officials seek input from residents about marijuana

— After a failed vote Thursday night to draft a law to ban future pot shops in Hayden, town officials said they want to hear more input from residents before making any decisions.

The vote to ban the retail, manufacturing and cultivation of marijuana failed, 3-2, during the Hayden Town Council meeting, with council members Lorraine Johnson and Dallas Robinson supportive of drafting a law to ban marijuana businesses. Council members Tim Redmond, Bill Hayden and Jim Folley were not supportive of the ban.

The vote came after a request from Town Manager David Torgler for direction on how to proceed with the marijuana issue. He said there are several options.

“You could ban it for one year to see how it’s going to roll out if you wanted to,” Torgler told the council.

With the passage of Amendment 64 in November, municipalities in Colorado face a deadline to put in place their own rules regarding the sale of marijuana for recreational use. Municipalities also can choose to ban anything to do with the retail, manufacturing and cultivation of marijuana.

Some members of the council wanted to wait to see what other municipalities decide to do and what the impacts of recreational marijuana will be.

“Let’s face it,” Redmond said. “This whole thing has been a cluster. … And it’s going to continue to be cluster until we see what’s happening.”

Some council members are intrigued by the potential benefits of marijuana business, such as tax revenues, and are concerned about possibly missing out.

“We need to look at it as business as well as a moral issue,” Folley said. “If we wait … is that opportunity gone?”

The council members who voted against drafting an ordinance to ban the marijuana business ventures expressed concern that considering an ordinance could keep some residents from expressing their opinion on the issue.

“I’d like to see both sides come as opposed to one side,” Folley said.

Council tabled the issue and will discuss it again during its Aug. 1 meeting. Until then, council members are anxious to hear from their constituents.

About 10 members of the public attended the discussion.

Vance Lowe, who lives just north of Hayden, told the council that he supported allowing a retail shop and that the council should not put off the issue.

“I believe that if we put a stop to anyone doing that, we’re going to be overlooked because in a year, those guys that are ambitious are going to be somewhere else,” Lowe said. “They want to get on board now. They don’t want to get on later.”

Hayden resident Gabriel MacMonagle read a letter to the residents attending the meeting. The letter had been distributed to the council members and was from developers Jon Peddie and Paul Franklin. In about 2007, they spent nearly $2 million developing the Valley View Business Park on the east side of Hayden, which still is mostly vacant lots.

The developers wrote that they wanted town officials to consider allowing marijuana to be grown discreetly in Hayden.

“We have had a number of interested parties look at the potential to build a building in the industrial park to grow marijuana,” the developers wrote.

A few residents also spoke against allowing marijuana businesses.

Resident Brian Hoza said he thought the costs outweighed the benefits.

“Personally and as a parent, I’m totally against us going into this territory,” he said.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

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