Dispensaries have been popping up all over the state since they were approved by the state Legislature, which is still grappling with the issue.
A request for information about opening a dispensary in Ouray was reported at the city council’s meeting two weeks earlier by Ouray city administrator Patrick Rondinelli. He did not reveal who made the request.
Several people in the audience spoke out in favor of the ordinance before the council vote. Former attorney Chris Statton said the city was “well advised to have a moratorium” and others suggested an even longer time to consider an ordinance to regulate medical pot stores.
Rondinelli said eight or 10 bills are being proposed in the state Legislature to regulate marijuana dispensaries and one citizen suggested that the city impose the moratorium “to last as long as the state takes to figure it out.”
Risch said the city couldn’t do that, but said the council wants to take its time and follow the law, and “we don’t want to set ourselves up to be a target” for possible future legal action.
City staff will work on gathering information on other ordinances, Rondinelli said, and he urged council members and citizens to also do research and give input to the council.
“There is a tremendous amount of information out there,” he said, drawing chuckles from the audience when he added, “There’s a lot that needs to be weeded through.”
Some ordinances are written so loosely that when a person is pulled over and marijuana is found in the car, they can claim it’s for medicinal use even though they have no proof, Rondinelli said, adding,” With some ordinances, you can do anything you want.”
Rondinelli said he strongly encourages councilmembers and citizens to “dig in and research” and give the city feedback, to stop staff or councilmembers on the street, call them on the phone, send letters and emails and post comments to the city’s website at www.ci.ouray.co.us.