What’s next for medical marijuana? | VailDaily.com

What’s next for medical marijuana?

Sarah Mausolf
Vail, CO Colorado
CVR dispensary KA 06-01-10

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – A majority of voters said they want medical marijuana businesses to stay in Eagle County.

So what happens next?

Because the results of the election aren’t binding, the commissioners will have the final say on whether dispensaries can operate in the county.

Commissioner Jon Stavney said the voters sent a message that they would like to see the marijuana businesses exist in the county. He said the county has done a good job of setting up the parameters for the stores themselves but the county has also received several requests from people looking to set up growing operations.

“The next step for us, the next thing we have to deal with, is regulations about growing,” he said.

Given the outcome of the election, Commissioner Peter Runyon said the county should allow the shops and make sure they’re well regulated. He said the commissioners will have the county staff present the various options available for regulation.

Commissioner Sara Fisher said it’s too soon to say whether the county will allow medical marijuana businesses.

“We haven’t had the dialogue between us or with the attorneys office,” she said.

Fisher said the board will have public conversations about the issue and what has happened elsewhere in the state in terms of medical marijuana.

The county already has zoning in place for the dispensaries, county attorney Bryan Treu said.

Next, he said the county will look into whether it should have a licensing program for the shops, similar to how liquor stores have licenses. He said a licensing program would have to be in place by July 2011. That’s when the state plans to start giving out licenses for medical marijuana centers.

Also, he said the county could take another look at the zoning laws – which require the stores to stand 500 feet from schools, churches or homes – before finalizing them. Eagle County is currently home to five dispensaries.

Staff Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.

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