Dispensary in Eagle fights to stay open | VailDaily.com

Dispensary in Eagle fights to stay open

Derek Franz
Eagle Valley Enterprise
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE, Colorado – The days roll by and the fate of an Eagle medical marijuana dispensary hangs in the balance.

“Some of our customers think we’re already closed and I want them to know that we are still open and we might not have to close at all,” said Sweet Leaf Pioneer owner Dave Manzanares.

Petition signatures to hold a special election asking voters if Sweet Leaf should be allowed to stay in business will be certified Monday and submitted to Eagle Town Board at its Tuesday meeting.

“We have enough signatures,” said Manzanares, who was told by Eagle Town Clerk Marilene Miller earlier this week his petitions met the valid signatures threshold.

However, the signatures can’t be officially certified until Oct. 24, when a mandatory 40-day protest period ends. Eagle town attorney Ed Sands said the protest period is to allow any signatures to be contested.

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On Tuesday, after Miller submits the petition to Eagle Town Board, another clock will start ticking.

“The board then has 20 days to either adopt the initiated ordinance without changes or set an election date,” Sands said. “An election date could potentially be held Jan. 3 or it might be bumped to the municipal election in April. It will be up to the board.”

Meanwhile, The Sweet Leaf recently filed an injunction in Eagle County District Court to obtain a ruling about whether the business can stay open until the election or if it must close by Nov. 1. Attorney Sean McAllister, who is representing the business, said a hearing is set for Oct. 31.

All this follows the town board’s approval of an ordinance in February that enacted a ban on marijuana-related businesses. The Sweet Leaf was the only business affected by the ordinance, which required the business to close after Oct. 31.

“This case is about three things,” McAllister said. “One, every business owner needs to feel secure that once they have a business permit it won’t be pulled for political reasons. Two, this is a clear and egregious betrayal of the will of the voters; every vote through the years has turned up in favor (of legalizing medical marijuana). Despite that endless series of support, the trustees betrayed the will of the voters. Three, if businesses like The Sweet Leaf are banned, there will be a proliferation of illegal groweries and operations that jeopardize public safety.”

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