City mulls over new retail cannabis regs

Study session focused on ‘nuts and bolts’ of licensing process

Deborah Grigsby
dgrigsby@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 1/26/22

Golden moves one step closer to the sale of ”retail” marijuana in the city as council members discussed policy issues surrounding the voter-approved measure during their Jan. 18 study session.

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City mulls over new retail cannabis regs

Study session focused on ‘nuts and bolts’ of licensing process

Posted

Golden moves one step closer to the sale of ”retail” marijuana in the city as council members discussed policy issues surrounding the voter-approved measure during their Jan. 18 study session.

City voters gave a green light last November to the limited retail sales of marijuana to adults (2A), as well as a 6% tax (2B) on its commercial sale.

Now, Golden begins the thorny task of drafting its first retail marijuana regulatory ordinance.

Steve Glueck, special assistant to the city manager, said staff and the city attorney’s office have already reviewed several elements from other Colorado municipalities, looking for administrative and procedural best practices for the licensing of retail marijuana.

He offered a list of 16 bullet points for discussion from that review.

Of those, council’s study session focused on four.

The first point asked council to ponder numerical limitations on the number of locations and whether these locations should be dispersed throughout the community or in concentrated areas.

Using spacing information from the city’s current ordinance for the medical sale of marijuana, Glueck presented a map detailing possible areas for retail marijuana operations.

Potential designated areas would include Canyon View Business Park on the north end of town, part of the Coors Technology Center Park, the area surrounding the existing medical dispensary, light industrial areas to the west of Interplaza and Gateway Village, to name a few.

A map, Glueck said, would offer “less surprises” than relying on distancing guidelines alone.

Third on the list was special grandfathering language for the existing medical dispensary operation.

Ashley Close, owner of Golden Alternative Medicine, the city’s only licensed medical cannabis business since 2014, says she strongly supports a “merit-based approach” to awarding any retail licenses that may be available from the city.

However, in a letter to Golden City Council dated Jan.6, Close asks that the city council consider grandfathering language that would permit medical-based operations in Golden, like hers, to begin retail sales immediately without competing with other license applicants.

Lastly, council members discussed how retail marijuana licenses may be awarded.

Options for consideration include a pure merit system, a hybrid system, and a lottery.

Glueck said a “very rough draft” of the new policy could be ready for council to review in the next few weeks.

To view a high resolution of the map, as well as all discussion documents, visit tinyurl.com/2p9dfbce.

For more information, contact Special Assistant to the City Manager Steve Glueck, at sglueck@cityofgolden.net.

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