The Silverton Town Council on Monday unanimously passed an emergency ordinance imposing a 180-day moratorium on approving business license applications related to the sale or use of recreational marijuana.
Possession of marijuana has been legal in Colorado for three months now but the state legislature is still crafting rules governing its sale and distribution.
The town has yet to receive an application for such a business. But town code enforcer Keith Thompson said the town has received inquiries from some persons interested in such enterprises. He said the town is awaiting new state regulations on the matter. If no such regulations are in place by July 1, the town could adopt its own.
While interest in firing up new recreational marijuana businesses in town has been lacking thus far, town officials said they can’t afford to take any chances. The ordinance is designed to give the town time to draft rules that would be compatible with state law, even though federal law prohibiting marijuana sales would remain an outstanding issue.
Trustee Karla Safranski said she failed to see what the alleged “emergency” was that required immediate Town Council action without a public hearing that the normal ordinance process requires.
She said Colorado voters approved legalization by a wide margin, including voters in San Juan County, where the measure passed by a vote of 328 to 174.
“I don’t see an emergency,” she said.
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