Palisade seeks input on rules for marijuana

Now that voters have approved recreational marijuana sales and related businesses in Palisade, residents will get a chance to weigh in on some ground rules.

A regular public meeting Jan. 10 offers residents an opportunity to discuss how they want to see the businesses operate.

Palisade trustees already have passed a six-month moratorium on the opening of any recreational marijuana businesses, although that timeline can be shortened or extended.

Trustees will be tasked with deciding whether the town should issue its own licenses, whether to modify the state’s regulations on the distance marijuana businesses should be located from schools, and land-use regulations. Trustees will seek input on how many recreational marijuana stores and related businesses should be allowed in operate in Palisade, and how to choose the operators of those businesses.

Town Administrator Rich Sales said he is compiling a presentation for residents and trustees that will be presented at the January meeting.

“That’s the kind of thing we’d really like to hear about from the community,” he said. “What’s appropriate? Is it one store, or two, or three or four, or do we let the market decide?”

Town officials also will seek input on where recreational marijuana stores should be located. Some municipalities have allowed stores to operate in their downtown core, while others have pushed the businesses to the outskirts. Some municipalities have dictated that the stores are grouped together, while other municipalities prefer to have stores locate a certain distance from one another.

The Palisade Chamber of Commerce has said it is against the stores locating in downtown, Sales said.

The state of Colorado allows marijuana grows for recreational sales to occur outdoors, but Palisade trustees can determine the grows should only occur indoors, he said.

“Our agriculture is important to us. We do want to hear what’s important to people,” Sales said.

Sales said the initial interest from individuals and companies has subsided since voters approved recreational marijuana sales and businesses on Nov. 8, after news spread of the moratorium.

“There’s no hurry,” Sales said.


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