Created: Mon, 16 Jun 2014 10:37:00 MST
Updated: Tue, 17 Jun 2014 07:52:04 MST
DEBEQUE, Colo. - The town of DeBeque's Board of Trustees voted to pass two new ordinances in hopes to answer some of the major controversial questions regarding sale of marijuana within city limits.
The first ordinance deals with zoning. The board decided to allow sales within both the old town core and the business district directly adjacent to the highway.
The second ordinance gives town officials the authority to begin creating and reviewing licenses for potential pot investors and operations.
Many are calling these ordinances the biggest steps toward retail marijuana in Mesa County to date.
“This is an important moment in the history of DeBeque,” said town administrator Guy Patterson. “This is something that can change its identity.”
The Board of Trustees also addressed the big issue of federal regulations prohibiting retail operations within 1,000 feet of a school. Controversy first arose when it became apparent more than half of downtown DeBeque was within the buffer zone deemed illegal by federal rules. Officials said they will enforce those regulations when reviewing potential investor applications.
"This is our opportunity to save what is an unhealthy town at this point,” said mayor of DeBeque Wayne Klahn.
The moratorium on retail marijuana operations in DeBeque was going to expire at the end of June, but officials extended the ban until August 1st to better prepare the town for a smooth execution of a new industry to the area.