Dolores extends pot moratorium

Friday, June 17, 2011 10:28 PM

The Dolores Town Council voted Monday to extend a moratorium on new medical marijuana dispensaries in town.

Town attorney Mike Green said he recommended voting for the moratorium as the state of Colorado continues to deal with massive changes in law for the business of licensing medical marijuana centers and cultivation sites.

Board members voted on a moratorium last year. Monday’s 7-0 vote in favor of extending the ban on new medical marijuana shops was extended one year, to June 30, 2012. Because it was an emergency ordinance, it becomes law after being voted on once.

The ordinance states, “It is necessary for the Town of Dolores to extend the moratorium in order to develop more complete local rules and regulations for the issuance of medical marijuana centers, optional cultivation premise and medical marijuana-infused product manufacturing establishment licenses.”

At one point, Dolores had two medical marijuana dispensaries. One has since been closed for several months, and Bucket Head Herbal Healing Center, which is located off Railroad Avenue, had its doors locked this week. A sign on the door stated owners are working to comply with new state regulations that will go into effect July 1.

“Closed until further notice,” one sign read. “We are closed to get in compliance with the M.E.D.”

Green said the ban is needed while the state works out issues in the new laws.

“We don’t want to make new laws locally because of the state,” Green said.

The new Colorado medical marijuana regulations were signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper earlier this month and go into effect July 1. It is about 80 pages of law, that regulate every aspect of the business, including that it must be under video surveillance continually, 24 hours a day.

Experts are already saying the laws could crush the small dispensary such as the one left in Dolores.