The Grand Junction City Council is rethinking how it wants to choose marijuana retail business operators after previously considering a hybrid selection process.

The council discussed marijuana regulations again at its regular meeting Wednesday after holding a workshop on the topic on Monday. At the workshop, the council agreed a method that evaluated potential operators on merit and then chose them with a lottery was how staff should proceed in developing regulations. However, several council members said they were changing their mind around the issue.

“One of my biggest concerns is every time we have these open discussions I learn things that cause me to think a bit differently than I did even on Monday and that worries me,” Council Member Rick Taggart said.

Several council members said they would favor a hybrid selection process, but would like it weighted to give more qualified applicants a higher chance of being selected. Taggart said that it might be easier to just go to a full merit- based selection process.

A council vote to direct staff to pursue regulations with a hybrid selection model failed 3-4.

Another point that split the council was the numerical cap on retail stores at 10. Several public comments were made in support of not using a cap and Council Member Anna Stout said that was her position as well.

“I think that supply and demand both as it relates to supply and demand for the products and supply and demand in terms of commercial properties really is the best way for us to ensure that we get the right number for our community,” Stout said. “I don’t think it’s going to result in some explosion of marijuana stores.”

Ultimately the council voted 4-3 in favor of directing staff to use a numerical cap of 10 along with buffering around schools, parks and rehab facilities and creating distinct districts within the city as they develop potential regulations.

OTHER BUSINESS

The council passed a resolution affirming Grand Junction citizens’ Constitutional rights. However, members of the public calling for a resolution declaring Grand Junction a Constitutional sanctuary city said they were not satisfied.

The council adopted the Patterson Road Access Management Plan after some discussion over the specific language used.

The City Council adopted the five year Community Development Block Grant Consolidated Plan. The plan included the 2021 CBDG Action Plan, which provided $469,557 in federal funding, which is distributed to 13 city and nonprofit programs.