De Beque board to discuss future of retail marijuana; moratorium set

The De Beque Town Board of Trustees members will meet this afternoon to discuss potential regulations for retail marijuana in the town following Tuesday’s narrow passage of Referred Measure A, which made recreational marijuana ventures legal in the approximately 500-person town.

De Beque residents voted 69 to 65 in Tuesday’s municipal election to allow the establishment and operation of retail marijuana cultivation, manufacturing and testing facilities and retail marijuana stores within town limits. Retail marijuana ventures will be restricted by rules in the Colorado Retail Marijuana Code as well as any other regulations town trustees may adopt.

Town board trustees will discuss next steps following passage of the measure, including what, if any, regulations to add for local operations, at a work session at 1 p.m. today at the Community Center at 381 Minter Ave.

In order to give town officials time to sort out the future of retail marijuana in De Beque, a moratorium on retail marijuana businesses is in effect through June 30.

De Beque Town Clerk Shirley Nichols said Wednesday town trustees decided to place a retail pot measure on the municipal election ballot in order to allow citizens, not the board, to make the final decision whether to allow retail marijuana operations in De Beque. Minutes for the board’s Jan. 27 meeting show trustees decided at that meeting to have the referred measure ask voters to permit retail marijuana stores and growing, testing and processing operations all at once and discussed the possibility of a retail marijuana tax question on the November ballot.

Any shop that may open in the town would become the first retail marijuana operation in Mesa County. Fruita voters panned the concept on their own municipal election ballot Tuesday and Collbran voters on Tuesday showed support for a ban on retail marijuana stores as well. Grand Junction City Council members and Mesa County commissioners banned retail marijuana operations by passing ordinances last summer.

Palisade has one medical marijuana dispensary but no retail marijuana shops. A moratorium on retail marijuana shops in Palisade expired in January. Palisade’s Board of Trustees has discussed putting a retail marijuana measure before voters in November.


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