Adopted two weeks ago, the City of Cortez is already planning to amend its retail marijuana law.
City Attorney Mike Green argued before the city council on Tuesday to alter Ordinance No. 1192 to include language that would allow officials to impose a $500 civil fine for any violation of state law. No jail time would be imposed under the change.
“We’re looking for more local control whether than relying on the state,” said Green.
According to Green, city inspectors had reported repeated “minor infractions” at some of the local medical marijuana dispensaries. He said the fine was designed to “get the attention” of gangapreneurs who violate state packaging, processing and disposal laws, for example, citing police recently discovered a cannabis leaf in one dispensary dumpster.
The council voted unanimously to accept the proposed revisions on Tuesday, Sept. 9. A public hearing on the matter was set for Sept. 23.
The amendment would also follow state directives to allow marijuana vendors to purchase 100 percent of their goods from outside growers. A state requirement that local dispensaries must grow 70 percent of their own marijuana expires Oct. 1.
Ordinance No. 1192 took effect on Sept. 2, but it remains unknown when the first retail outlet will open within city limits. Cortez is among some 40 other municipalities across the state to adopt retail licensing regulations.
Under Colorado law, residents over the age of 21 can possess, use, display, gift or transport up to one ounce of marijuana as well as cultivate up to six marijuana plants. Retail marijuana sales for adults 21 and older have been legal since Jan. 1.