City Council Cannabis Conversation | WesternSlopeNow.com
GRAND JUNCTION, Col.
Voters said yes to tax and regulate marijuana businesses in Grand Junction, and the job of city council is to decide the number, location and tax rate of these stores. But few decisions were made at the last city council workshop, and time is running out as the city begins to authorize these stores in the first quarter of 2022.
Council member and Pro Tem Mayor Anna Stout said, “We’re getting into a very complex subject here because it’s not as simple as saying, here’s how we’re going to do our marijuana regulation. There are so many factors to consider. Whether or not there is a limit to the number of stores. Whether it’s a cap or determined by things like zoning and buffering, or sort of the establishment of districts. “
During the board deliberations it was mentioned that there is no cap on liquor stores and the board is looking to use this business model and implement new ways of handling useful information. “One of the things we were looking at was based on a poll that was done,” Stout said.
It could be six stores or 22, and the latest survey showed that about 60% want ten stores or less, and about 40% want no limit on the number of stores. Courtney Yoshimito is not a citizen of Grand Junction, but is part of the conversation. “If there had been a pot shop here today I would have checked it out because there isn’t much here. So, yeah, I would have! Her friend, Alexis Johnson is also a tourist and says that even if they don’t use cannabis, curiosity would drive them to visit marijuana stores, and they think other tourists would. “Yes, that would definitely bring more people. Just because a lot of people don’t know what it is or haven’t been there, ”Johnson said.
Chris Brown owns Brown cycles in downtown Grand Junction and don’t think the pot stores on Main Street would boost business. “I don’t expect masses of people to buy bikes because they buy weed,” Brown said.
City Council has decided that the retail marijuana tax rate will be 6%, but that is for now. Brown says, “Say it’s going to increase taxpayer dollars because it’s going to pay for schools and stuff. This creates more problems than it solves, economically.
The board has also decided on a hybrid selection process to own a marijuana store, but they are to discuss the qualifications and selection criteria.
The next city council workshop meeting to discuss more details on the regulation of marijuana is scheduled for Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. “These are just the very first steps in developing our retail marijuana regulations,” said Mayor Pro Tem Stout.