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Commissioners Table MMJ Licensing Decision

A final decision on setting up licensing and enforcement regarding medical marijuana facilities in Fremont County was postponed by the Board of Commissioners following a June 26th special meeting and public hearing.   The Commissioners said they want to consider some modifications and additions to the proposed resolution and will consider a vote on the matter at their July 8th regular meeting at 9:30 a.m.   18 people spoke at the public hearing offering pros and cons about the sale and cultivation of marijuana in the county but offering few specifics about the proposed regulations governing medical marijuana.

The Commissioners extended a moratorium on allowing any new medical marijuana businesses until August 1st when license applications would start being accepted if the Commissioners approve the regulations and licensing resolution.   District 2 Commissioner Debbie Bell asked for patience from the citizens saying she believes the Board needs to do a little more work.   Among the concerns Bell said she believes the Board needs to address was an issue raised by Penrose Water District Board Chairwoman Charlotte Norman.   Norman asked that the resolution add language that water providers to medical marijuana businesses be consulted not only for marijuana cultivation operations but for manufacturing businesses as well.

The sentiment opposing any kind of marijuana operations was summed up by Richard Hollibaugh who said the entire marijuana issues amount to a nuisance.   Hollibaugh added, “By the time we get all these regulations, it is still a nuisance.”

The regulations are intended to deal with mitigating odors and bright lights as well as establish fees for licensing of the medical marijuana facilities.    District 3 Commissioner Ed Norden said he doesn’t believe the county can begin to assess the cost of enforcement.    He said the county is not suddenly going to be able to put a lot of enforcement officers on the streets.

Tim Brown, co-owner of the marijuana grow operation at Apple Valley Greenhouse, said the regulations amount to putting a noose around their neck.    Brown said they have spent $200,000 to $400,000 to address the smell issue but if they can’t increase their revenue stream by converting the plants to recreational pot, the regulations are designed to do nothing else but shut down their business.

The Commissioners unanimously agreed to table consideration of the regulations until their July 8th board meeting noting they wanted to consider some of the changes suggested during the public testimony.