No pot shops for one year, Fruita says

Wanting to negate the possibility of a medical marijuana center opening in Fruita after being shuttered in another community, the Fruita City Council on Tuesday agreed to enact a yearlong moratorium on such businesses.

Council members unanimously adopted the prohibition on the approval of any license or permit to operate a center. The moratorium is in place through June 30, 2012, the same time a state moratorium expires.

The board put the moratorium in place without comment. There was no public testimony.

After adopting an emergency 60-day moratorium last month, the city moved to enact a longer prohibition. That’s because even with the state moratorium on businesses, a new state law allows medical marijuana centers that have closed because of bans in other communities to apply for a license in another county or municipality and transfer the business there.

Earlier this year, the City Council directed staff to draw up a ballot measure that will ask voters whether they want to ban medical marijuana centers in the city. That question is expected to appear on the municipal ballot in April.

If voters allow businesses to sell cannabis for medicinal purposes, the moratorium would give city leaders time to enact regulations on marijuana centers.

There are no medical marijuana centers in Fruita. A couple last year pulled their application for a conditional-use permit to open a business on U.S. Highway 6&50 after a day-care center opened nearby.

The only place in the Grand Valley where patients can commercially purchase the drug is a center in Palisade.


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