Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Marijuana could come to Manitou by March

Posted By on Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 12:55 PM

click to enlarge A photo taken July 26, 2013 outside Absolute Manitou Wellness Center, one of two expected dispensaries. - BRYCE CRAWFORD
  • Bryce Crawford
  • A photo taken July 26, 2013 outside Absolute Manitou Wellness Center, one of two expected dispensaries.

Though there's a possibility that Palmer Lake may join the game some time in April, last night Manitou Springs City Council guaranteed, by a 6 to 1 vote, that the town would be one of the few municipalities in El Paso County to allow recreational-marijuana stores.

"We have a set of, I think, very rigorous and responsible regulations that were passed last night," says Mayor Marc Snyder in an interview this morning. "And those will go into effect five days from publication, which should occur today or tomorrow, and then five days after that the city will be open to take applications."

Of course, Amendment 64 guaranteed that, before July 1, nobody could apply to open an RMJ dispensary who wasn't already dishing medical marijuana, so Absolute Manitou Wellness Center and Maggie's Farm are expected to be the two in town. With the process to come, though, Snyder says he would be surprised if either could get before the Planning Commission before March.

"Once they pull that application packet from our Planning Department, they’ll have basically two responsibilities: One, to get approval from the state, and then get that application complete and back to staff," the mayor says. "And once staff determines it's sufficient to go forward, they’ll schedule them for a conditional-use hearing before our Planning Commission.

"And then regardless of what the Planning Commission recommends, it’ll move on to Council for a second conditional-use hearing; and that’s for both businesses."

Which also means that the crowds of angry Manitoids — including those who have promised a ballot initiative challenging Council's decision — will get several more cracks at expressing their upset (though their numbers have declined as the process went along).

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