Dolores Town Board considers marijuana sales

Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 6:18 PM
The Journal file

Dolores used to have two medical marijuana stores, including this one. But after they closed down, the town put a moratorium on retail pot shops. The issue is being revisited.

The Dolores Town Board is considering the pros and cons of allowing retail marijuana sales.

A moratorium on pot sales has been in place since 2014, but it’s set to expire Dec. 31. Two public workshops are planned to address the topic on Sept. 24 and Oct. 22 at 6:30 p.m. Citizens will be able to comment on the issue.

Dolores used to have two medical marijuana shops. But after they closed, the town put a moratorium on retail pot stores and commercial grow sites to study the issue.

Proponents say that retail marijuana sales would improve sales tax revenues for the town and give medicinal users improved access. Detractors say it could increase demand for law enforcement and increase town administration costs.

Retail recreational marijuana sales were legalized in Colorado under Amendment 64 in 2012. Towns and counties can decide whether to establish pot shops. Montezuma County has banned retails sales, but Cortez and Mancos have allowed them.

Dolores Town Trustee James Biard and Town Manager Jay Ruybalid were selected to study the issue. They have been meeting with Mancos and Cortez officials to find out how they manage marijuana stores and what the potential benefits and benefits might be.

An audience member suggested that it be put to a vote of the people. Biard said one thing they learned is that a decision by a vote of the people is more permanent than a board decision. “We’re learning about both sides of the issue,” Biard said.