VAIL — In a game of more wait-and-see, the Vail Town Council made the first of two steps Tuesday to extend a current temporary ban on recreational marijuana businesses.
The council is waiting to see what consequences, if any, arise in other towns that allow the businesses to operate since last November’s passing of Amendment 64. Voters in the state, including an overwhelming majority of voters in Eagle County, approved the amendment which made adult recreational marijuana use legal. Since then, however, the state has been trying to catch up to the passing of the amendment by writing the laws that will regulate marijuana businesses.
Unanimous vote to extend ban
The Vail Town Council had already temporarily banned the businesses early this year, but that ban is set to expire Aug. 6. Town Attorney Matt Mire told the town at its last June meeting that it could extend that temporary ban to give the town more time to study what options for regulation are available. On Tuesday, the council voted unanimously on first reading to extend that temporary ban. Councilman Greg Moffet was absent.
While recreational, adult marijuana use is already legal in the state, the town of Vail has made consumption of the drug illegal in public places. The town defined open use and consumption of legalized marijuana as that even on private property, if the public can see it or smell it, that use is prohibited.
‘Where can I buy some pot?’
Visitors to Vail have already been inquiring about where to purchase marijuana. People have been asking staff members at hotels and fellow skiers on chair lifts where the stores are that sell it. Medical marijuana dispensary owners have also reported that folks have walked into those shops looking to buy pot without a medical license.
That’s where the newly passed Amendment 64 gets tricky, too. Currently, only the medical marijuana business licensees can apply for the recreational business licenses in the state. That will change next year, though.
Vail’s temporary ban means the town will not accept business license applications from anyone this year, and potentially never. The extended ban expires next January, but the town of Vail is expected to talk about marijuana business regulations again before the end of the year. The town could decide to make its ban on the businesses permanent, but the town can’t ban marijuana use in town outright — that’s a law that Colorado voters got their say in.
Assistant Managing Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-748-2983.