Eagle postpones decision on marijuana dispensary
August 25, 2010
EAGLE, Colorado – The owner of the sole medical marijuana dispensary now operating in Eagle decided Tuesday on a tactical delay for his request to expand.
Dave Manzanares of Sweet Leaf Pioneer has presented two permit requests to the town, both related to new Colorado laws governing the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries. The first request was to expand his operation, located at 1286 Chambers Ave., to two adjacent units to provide for a cultivation operation and for the preparation and sales of marijuana-infused products. With the proposed expansion, Manzanares also will have to obtain a new special-use permit from the town.
Under Colorado’s new law, by Sept. 1 dispensaries must demonstrate that they cultivate at least 70 percent of their product themselves. Sweet Leaf has requested the additional space to comply with the state regulations and serve its current 85 patients. The addition of infused products is in response to patient requests, said Manzanares.
In a split vote last February, the Eagle Town Board approved a one-year special use permit for Sweet Leaf. Noting that board member Scott Turnipseed was absent Tuesday night, Manzanares and his attorney Sean McAllister requested the town board continue the hearing until Sept. 14 when, presumably, the entire board will be seated to consider the applications.
Town officials noted Turnipseed had notified them that he had a conflict and would not be attending the meeting Tuesday night.
“Frankly, the applicant is concerned without Mr. Turnipseed here, it could be a tied vote or even a loss,” said McAllister.
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In previous medical marijuana deliberations, town board members Kraige Kinney and Roxie Deane have cast votes against such operations and newly seated board member Scot Webster has been outspoken in his opposition to such plans. All three were present Tuesday night and that would have provided enough to, at a minimum, defeat the proposal in a tie.
Town board member Yuri Kostick first suggested the continuance, noting his recent absence during a land use file led to a tie vote which, in turn, meant the town rejected the Wolcott Street proposal. The board voted 4-2 to continue the file with Kinney and Webster dissenting.
The continuance does mean that Sweet Leaf will not have the approved cultivation operation in place by the state’s Sept. 1 deadline. McAllister noted that the operation is proposing the expansion so that it can clearly demonstrate its growing operation complies with the law. But even under current operations, he said Sweet Leaf could produce a list of legitimate growers to meet the state requirement.
In addition to the Sweet Leaf proposal, the town board had scheduled a general discussion of Colorado’s new medical marijuana laws and how Eagle wants to treat dispensary operations in the future. Noting that the discussion could touch on various issues directly related to Sweet Leaf, Mayor Ed Woodland proposed continuing it as well. Both issues will be taken up again at the town’s Sept. 14 meeting.