Carbondale looking into medical marijuana shop regulations
CARBONDALE – An ever-growing number of medical marijuana dispensaries in town has Carbondale’s elected leaders concerned enough to revisit the issue and determine if any regulatory steps should be taken.
The town that saw the valley’s very first dispensary open up last summer now has six separate dispensaries serving area residents who are on the state’s registry of medical marijuana patients.
“I think it would be nice if we had some more information about this,” Trustee Ed Cortez said at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.
Cortez said he hasn’t changed his mind about the merits of medical marijuana, and still believes the dispensaries are in the right to exist.
However, with some of the criminal activity that has surfaced at Front Range dispensaries, he believes it’s time to make sure proper security precautions are being taken with local dispensaries.
“I am still concerned about what kind of security is in place, and the potential for break-ins,” Cortez said.
Town staff plans to outline the various issues at the Jan. 19 Carbondale Board of Trustees meeting.
Town Manager Tom Baker said the town has also had informal inquiries about possible medical marijuana growing operations within town limits.
“We might be looking at some zoning enforcement issues, if there are activities around growing operations,” Baker said. “We want to be vigilant and make sure whatever is happening with these operations is occurring in the correct zone district.”
Several towns around the state have imposed moratoriums on new marijuana dispensaries until zoning, signage and other regulatory matters can be worked out.
However, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs have so far not done anything to regulate the businesses. State legislators are also exploring possible regulations of the medical marijuana trade on a statewide level.
Carbondale trustees recently received a letter signed by a “concerned parent” about a new dispensary that’s set to open in a Main Street store front.
“Having grown up in this valley, and as a parent I am disturbed about the allowance of a dispensary on street level Main Street,” the parent wrote.
“I see how teenagers are struggling to find what is right,” the letter continued. “I understand that marijuana has been legalized with a prescription, but without a prescription it is still illegal … a dispensary on street level Main Street is offensive to a great deal of people, and is like a billboard 24/7 sending a wrong message.”