Eagle defines rules for pot dispensaries
EAGLE, Colorado – In a split vote last month, the Eagle Town Board decided to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the community. But during more recent discussions, town officials are united in defining what that means.
Eagle is open to the idea of medical marijuana operations but its rules will prohibit the operation of “head shops” in the community. That means dispensaries cannot set up window displays featuring drug paraphernalia or allow shoppers on the premises. Only people with valid prescription cards will be admitted to the Eagle-based dispensaries.
Other Eagle regulations will only allow dispensaries in the town’s commercial zones and will prohibit placing them within 500 feet of schools, pediatric offices or businesses with a “youth-oriented clientele.”
As for licensing, the town regulations will generally mirror the procedure followed for liquor licenses and require annual renewals.
Members of the town board discussed medical marijuana regulations in depth during a meeting last week. Town Attorney Ed Sands presented a proposed ordinance to govern such operations. But in looking over the rules, the town board opted to take a harder stance than some other Colorado communities.
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For instance, the town board opted to prohibit on-site consumption at Eagle dispensaries and to measure the 500-foot barrier from the property line of proposed operations. Additionally, the town is looking at regulations regarding storage and display of medical marijuana products.
Sean McAllister, a Breckenridge attorney who introduced himself as one of the founders of the medical marijuana advocacy group called Sensible Colorado, urged Eagle to develop sensible regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries in town. He questioned the validity of a regulation that would require all marijuana products be stored in a safe on the premises of a dispensary. McAllister said such a requirement would place undue hardship on a dispensary operator.
McAllister also questioned whether the town wanted to prohibit the sale of consumption merchandise, arguing that patients need pipes or other devices that provide safer means for ingesting the drug.
“I would rather things be a little more restrictive at this point in time,” said Town Board member Roxie Deane.
That sentiment was echoed among both board members and members of the public.
“I don’t want a head shop in town,” said Eagle resident Chuck Hair.
“Let’s not take away the power of the police department,” said resident Joe Knabble. “Let’s make it tighter and see what happens.”
The town board will re-visit its medical marijuana rules at its next regular meeting, scheduled for Nov. 10 at 6 p.m.