The Orchard City Town Board unanimously adopted an ordinance on July 10 banning several types of "marijuana facilities," or marijuana businesses, from the town.
The board's approval came following a public hearing on the ordinance. There was one comment from a constituent who favored allowing marijuana businesses in Orchard City and taxing them heavily for town revenue.
The town's ordinance prohibits the operation, ownership, establishment or conduct of "marijuana cultivation, facilities, establishments, product manufacturing facilities, products facilities, testing facilities, and retail marijuana stores" in all of Orchard City.
The town prohibited medical marijuana facilities in July 2011.
The state Constitutional amendment (Amendment 64) passed by voters in 2012 legalized in Colorado the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. Federal laws against marijuana possession and use remain in effect.
While the 2012 election campaign in support of Amendment 64 highlighted the personal and private personal use of marijuana, the actual text of the amendment also provided for the legalized establishment and operation of various types of businesses to support the use of marijuana, including "marijuana cultivation facilities," or what some people would know as marijuana farms.
Under Amendment 64, the personal use and possession of small amounts of marijuana can't be denied by local jurisdictions. But local jurisdictions are given the right to regulate or ban outright wholesale and retail marijuana businesses, which is what Orchard City has done.
The Delta Board of County Commissioners banned marijuana facilities from the unincorporated areas in recognition that Amendment 64 legalized not only the small-scale possession and personal use of marijuana, but also the larger-scale production and distribution of the drug. This provision confronted rural county residents with a prospect of one day finding they lived next door to a marijuana farm.
Orchard City, with its large tracts of open ag land and irrigation water widely available, could have been in the same position.
Public debate over Amendment 64 and the paid political campaigns in support of it did not address that issue. Nor did they address an issue of great interest to investors in Delta County's rural residential real estate: that is, the impact on property values and quality of life for someone finding themselves living next door to a marijuana "cultivation facility," even one with "adequate security arrangements."
The Town of Cedaredge will host a public hearing to hear from residents on the possibility of banning marijuana businesses from their town, too. The hearing will be during their regular work session, Aug. 8, beginning at 7 p.m.blog comments powered by Disqus