Montrose Passes Retail Pot Ban
KREX News Room
MONTROSE, Colo. - On Tuesday night Montrose city officials decided they will not be allowing retail marijuana shops inside the city.
Montrose community members had a chance to tell City Council exactly how they feel about retail marijuana at the second hearing of a moratorium that was held Tuesday.
"Amendment 64 passed, so I feel like Montrose is part of Colorado and they should go along with the way it voted," said Nancy Kelso, an opponent to the moratorium.
Montrose City Attorney Stephen Alcorn said Montrose voters sent a different message in November.
"55 percent of the precinct in Montrose decided to vote against Amendment 64," he said.
Governor Hickenlooper recently announced how retail marijuana would be taxed, which included a proposal that the first $40 million in sales tax collected would go towards school construction, although voters would have to approve that in 2014.
"In Montrose we've passed one bond issue in the last 35 years. How can you say no to getting $40 million in money for construction?" said Kelso.
Counties and cities that do not ban retail marijuana shops are set to see a share of the 10 percent special sales tax set forth by Amendment 64.
"The city would get 15 percent of the 10 percent of sales tax, so from what we can tell right now it would barely, it probably wouldn't even, offset the hiring of additional police officers that we would need to support it," said Alcorn.
City staff looked into banning retail marijuana establishments which is something City Council agreed unanimously on, although they say they're willing to revisit the issue in the future.
"Doing a conservative approach, what we're doing, and not allowing it right now doesn't mean we can't allow it down the road. I don't think we want to be the guinea pig. We want to see how other cities manage it; if it's successful then we can take a look at it, if it has some negative impacts on the town or city, then we're already in a safe position," said Alcorn.