TELLURIDE - Telluride Town Attorney Kevin Geiger presented the Telluride Town Council on Tuesday with an overview of Colorado and federal marijuana laws as well as key issues the council must consider before allowing the retail sale of the product in Telluride.
Stating that the cultivation, distribution and consumption of the drug was still in direct violation of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, Geiger added that the United States Constitution supersedes Colorado State law and the use of the drug is still illegal across the country.
He offered quotes containing mixed and often contradictory guidance from top United States Justice Department officials as to how federal officials would react to Colorado’s Amendment 64.
Councilmembers discussed designating what local government entity would be responsible for issuing retail marijuana business licensing and how the Town of Telluride would regulate marijuana cultivation and retail locations. Regulations discussed included allowing marijuana cultivation in certain non-residential areas as well as allowing medical marijuana outlets to sell both prescription and retail cannabis products. Several council members requested the presence and input of medical marijuana dispensary proprietors in future Town Council meetings.
Council also considered regulating the signage and advertising content of potential retail marijuana locations, with members agreeing that retail locations must clarify that their products are infused with cannabis in all commercial messaging.
Geiger later added, “I personally don’t want my daughter to confuse a sign that advertises brownies, ice cream and cookies with marijuana products.”
Council members discussed the proximity to schools that medical and retail marijuana may be sold. Current law prohibits the sale of medical marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school. Retail marijuana, however, does not have any such proximity limits. Council agreed that such limits should be considered.
While many Colorado voters were pleased to see Amendment 64 pass with a significant margin in November 2012, Geiger quoted Governor Hickenlooper’s reaction to the amendment’s passing, “this will be a complicated process… So don’t break out the Cheetos and Goldfish too quickly.”