In the ongoing retail marijuana saga in Summit County, Dillon Town Council is one of the only local elected bodies taking steps to block, or at least delay, retail pot businesses in its town.
Last week town council members unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance that would extend Dillon’s moratorium on the creation of retail marijuana establishments until Dec. 31, 2014. A second reading and public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 3 during council’s next regularly scheduled meeting.
Joe Wray, Dillon town manager, said Wednesday town council members are considering a moratorium extension for political as well as societal reasons. Notably, council members are reluctant to begin drafting retail business license regulations until they have received clear direction from the state.
In addition to waiting on the state, Wray said Town of Dillon code prohibits the issuance of licenses if the business violates federal, state or local laws and ordinances. Because federal law prohibits recreational marijuana use, Wray said the council would also have to change the town code, in addition to writing regulations to manage retail business licenses.
“Council is taking an eyes-wide-open approach to what Amendment 64 allows and doesn’t allow, while taking into consideration that it was passed by a vote of the people,” Wray said.
In Dillon, upwards of 70 percent of voters supported Amendment 64, Wray said. However, that figure could be skewed because of the initiative’s confusing language stating that local municipalities could opt out, he said. Many Dillon residents who voted in favor of Amendment 64 may not necessarily approve of recreational pot use, Wray said, but may have been inclined to vote for the initiative because of the opt-out clause.
“We’re just in a watch and wait and see kind of pattern,” Wray said. “We’re also discussing whether or not residents believe there is a need for one (a retail marijuana establishment) in every community.”