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Vail Town Council to debate retail marijuana moratorium

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December 13, 2013, 9:28 am

The Vail Town Council will discuss the status of a temporary moratorium that bans retail marijuana establishments in town at its Tuesday, Dec. 17 meeting. The item is listed fifth on the agenda which begins at 6 p.m. in the Vail Town Council Chambers, 75 S. Frontage Rd. Opportunities for public comment will be available at the meeting.

The moratorium was enacted to allow time to review the many legal and practical considerations that affect implementation of Amendment 64 which was approved by Colorado voters on Nov. 6, 2012 and enacted on Dec. 10, 2012. Amendment 64 legalized recreational marijuana use for persons over the age of 21 and created a licensing structure for marijuana businesses. Municipalities may choose to either prohibit or regulate retail marijuana businesses.

Vail’s temporary moratorium is outlined in Ordinance No. 3, Series 2013, and was adopted by the Town Council on Jan.15, 2013 with an expiration date of Aug. 6, 2013. On July 16, 2013, the moratorium was extended to Jan. 21, 2014 following Town Council passage of Ordinance No. 9, Series 2013.

Regulatory actions previously taken by the Town Council include a decision to ban medical marijuana dispensaries within the town approved in July 2010 and passage on Feb. 5, 2013, of Ordinance No. 2, Series 2013, which modifies the Vail Town Code to reflect provisions of Amendment 64 regarding possession, consumption and other aspects.

During Tuesday’s Town Council discussion, several options will be presented to the Town Council including an extension of the moratorium beyond its expiration on Jan. 21 to enable additional information-gathering. The Council could also vote to direct staff to prepare an ordinance that would authorize the licensing and regulation of retail marijuana establishments. A third option is to adopt an ordinance banning retail marijuana establishments.

A memorandum on the topic and related ordinances are available on the town’s website at www.vailgov.com. To forward comments in advance of the meeting, please email the Vail Town Council at towncouncil@vailgov.com.

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