City officials split on Amendment 64

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Northglenn City Council members are divided on whether recreational marijuana businesses should be allowed within the city’s limits but said they will wait for the Legislature to address the new laws before taking action.

The discussion, which took place during an April 1 study session, outlined several key dates and municipal issues identified by the Amendment 64 Implementation Taskforce in a 166-page report released to the Legislature last month.

City Attorney Corey Hoffmann said the Legislature’s direction on task force’s recommendations should be clear by mid-May, when council should begin considering several local ordinances to meet several key deadlines.

Hoffmann said council must make a decision and pass an ordinance by Oct. 1 that would either allow or ban recreational marijuana retailers or growing facilities within the city’s limits.

As home-rule municipality, Hoffmann said the city can decide whether to impose a tax on marijuana sales.

The city, however, must finalize a ballot question to comply with the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights by the end of August, if council chooses to move forward with a tax initiative.

Ward I Councilwoman Carol Dodge and Ward IV Councilwoman Kim Snetzinger said they would support a move to allow the adult use of marijuana and marijuana facilities, since a majority of residents supported the measure.

A total of 59.59 percent of Northglenn residents voted in favor of Amendment 64 in the general election, according to a Jan. 4 memo from City Clerk Johanna Small.

“I think a lot of people feel that way, and if people said that they want to have recreational marijuana, then they want to,” Dodge said. “The regulation and enforcement of medical marijuana seems to be in control here in Northglenn — I think we’re doing a good job of it. I can’t even imagine any more shops opening, if we keep those same restrictions of distance and everything — we’re still going to have those few that we already have.”

Mayor Pro Tem Susan Clyne and Ward IV Councilman Gene Wieneke agreed but said that start-up marijuana businesses should operate on the same playing field as existing medical marijuana businesses in the city.

“Controlling it is much better than having to worry about it being on the black market,” Clyne said.

Mayor Joyce Downing and Ward II Councilman Joe Brown, however, spoke out against allowing the adult use of marijuana in the city.

“I know that our citizens voted for it but when you talk to people individually, they have a different sense of what they voted for, so I’m really not in favor of adult use facilities in Northglenn,” Downing said.

Ward II Councilwoman Leslie Carrico was absent from the study session.

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