The Dillon Town Council approved a temporary ban on issuing permits for recreational marijuana businesses at its Tuesday night meeting. The motion passed with a 6-1 vote. All council members were present.
According to the ordinance, the moratorium will extend through Oct. 1, although the Town Council can opt to lift the ban at any time, if deemed necessary.
"The biggest reason is because the state doesn't have any of the regulations in place yet," said Dillon town manager Joe Wray, of the purpose behind implementing the moratorium.
The recently convened Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force, a statewide panel tasked with helping lawmakers implement regulations on the sale of recreational marijuana, is expected to issue its recommendations in February. If the state fails to adopt regulations by July 1, or doesn't begin accepting applications for marijuana establishments by Oct. 1, regulatory authority rolls down to local governments.
"The benefit is that it gives us time to actually sit down and learn about it. There's so much that's not known, there's so much that hasn't been decided on the state level yet, it's kinda ridiculous we're supposed to come up with something when we have no guideline," said Dillon mayor Ron Holland. "But I do insist that we not just sit here and wait until Oct. 1 and not do anything. That's just buying time. I think we need to be proactive and discuss it and come up with what we want the town of Dillon to do, sooner than later."
Council member R. Louis Skowyra III was the only one to vote against implementing the moratorium.
"The state of Colorado, and specifically our local community, spoke loud and clear last November," Skowyra said. "I wanted to make sure my vote most accurately reflected the constituency."
The town has already been approached by an individual with an interest in a recreational marijuana business permit, although no application for the permit has been submitted at this time.
"I don't want to sit around and twiddle our thumbs. I want to address it and move on," Holland said.