The city of Golden’s A64 Task Force held a public meeting on April 1 to receive feedback and hear recommendations from citizens on whether to allow recreational marijuana within city limits.
A turnout of 40 or more people sat in council …
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
A turnout of 40 or more people sat in council chambers at City Hall to hear arguments from both supporters and opponents on recreational pot.
Most supporters for retail marijuana who spoke at the meeting came from a medical marijuana background in which they either cultivated plants or owned stores. Other speakers were neutral on the topic recommending the A64 Task Force to look into restricted signage for retail businesses.
But tax revenue was the premise for supporting arguments with speakers relaying the $3.5 million the state of Colorado received from pot revenue in January earlier this year.
“This is a gold rush,” Golden resident Barbara Harvey said. “This is going to augment our tourist economy and its going to augment our revenue where we will have money to do some great things for Golden.”
Still, less than a handful of attendees who chose to speak, were against the idea of allowing recreational marijuana stores in Golden citing concerns over children’s health and safety.
“My main concern is access to youth,” said Su Niedringhaus, golden resident and former health educator for young students. “I just want us to really consider how this might affect the youth population, it’s a great point that it’s around money, who doesn’t want to see more money coming into our community, but I’m just not sure it’s worth the possibility of sacrificing our kid’s health.”
After the passing of Amendment 64, most cities throughout Colorado, including Golden, placed a temporary moratorium on recreational marijuana businesses. Currently, unincorporated Jefferson County, along with neighboring communities of Arvada and Lakewood have moratoriums or bans on commercial pot operations, though Wheat Ridge has not.
In lieu of making a decision solely on Golden city staff findings, council appointed nine members to the A64 Task Force whose backgrounds ran from legal to human and health services to representing local businesses and citizens. Their duty is to research the many aspects and impacts of retail marijuana and issue recommendations which will be submitted to council in a packet filled with public input and task force findings.
The A64 task force will release recommendations to council which will be available for public view on April 24. Council will officially hold a formal public hearing on recreational marijuana on June 5.
Council will make the final ruling on retail marijuana choosing from several options such as allowing and regulating recreational pot shops, prohibiting shops or deferring their decision to continue to evaluate options and system operations. If council chooses prohibition, they may do so with some flexibility to allow recreational shops in the future.
The task force has received several emails from citizens that has mirrored many of the comments made at the public meeting said Bill Fisher, chairman for the A64 Task Force and former city councilor.
“The public report that the task force will be producing — I think that will actually provide a lot of information,” he said. “People raised a lot of issues here and I think the idea is for us to get at some of the answers behind what people are asking and understand them and understand what they mean for Golden specifically.”
The task force continues to welcome public input. Opinions and recommendations may be sent to A64@cityofgolden.net.
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.