Grand Junction City Council seeking input on medical pot
Grand Junction City Council members discussed during a retreat Friday how they plan to use public input to make a decision about the regulation of medical marijuana.
The council has not ruled out passing a medical marijuana ordinance. Council members also recently asked the Mesa County clerk and recorder to hold a place on the November ballot in case the council decides to ask voters a question about regulating or banning medical marijuana centers.
City Public Works and Planning Director Tim Moore said if the City Council chooses to regulate zoning for medical marijuana centers, zoning will likely stick to commercial and downtown centers and avoid residential areas.
City Manager Laurie Kadrich added medical marijuana centers, as of last month, have brought in $93,000 in city sales tax revenue since they began opening for business last year.
Council members will ask the public to weigh in on regulation during stakeholder meetings Aug. 4 and Aug. 18 at locations to be announced. The council may invite some stakeholders to the meetings, such as doctors, law enforcement, medical-marijuana-center owners and store owners near centers, but anyone can attend.
Given the volume of attendees expected, Kadrich suggested having some people sign in and check whether they’d like to speak at one of the August meetings, setting a limit so people can testify at only one of the meetings. Or, it could have people submit written comments instead of testifying.
Council members said a telephone town hall seeking public input about medical-marijuana regulation might be worth doing, given the success of a recent telephone town hall during the city’s listening tour about public safety facilities.
City spokeswoman Sam Rainguet said the listening-tour call had a peak of 4,681 participants. Council member Bruce Hill said the peak amount of people participating in any of the three polling questions that were asked at various points during that hourlong call was about 170 people.