Eighteen Las Animas citizens volunteered last week to serve on a committee creating rules and regulations for marijuana facilities in town.
Las Animas voters, on Nov. 6, approved medical marijuana centers, cultivation operations and medical marijuana-infused product manufacturing within city limits. Voters also approved recreational marijuana facilities, including sales, cultivation, manufacturing and testing facilities in town, subject to additional regulations as may be adopted by city council.
In accordance with the voters’ wishes, approximately 30 people met with Mayor Jim Collins and members of city council Friday evening to discuss establishing city regulations regarding marijuana.
Also in attendance were City Clerk Charmaine Tripp, City Attorney Samuel Vigil, Ron Clodfelter, of Municipal Power, Ken Wagner, Public Works Department, and newly-elected Sheriff Jake Six and Deputy Wick Turner.
Laura Bauer, City Clerk of Commerce City, was at the meeting, as well, and she shared how her city (population 56,000) had established regulations for the sale of marijuana six years ago. Bauer said the licensing of marijuana facilities in Commerce City is overseen by the City Clerk’s office.
"It is an expensive process and each application has state fees and city fees required," explained Bauer. "The state requires a $5,000 fee for each individual medical marijuana, retail marijuana, cultivation and manufacturing application: $2,500 of each fee is returned to the city.”
Bauer said the location of all marijuana facilities must meet state regulations. The state also requires very specific security, fire, water and electrical standards. Proper disposal of marijuana trash is also regulated.
According to Collins, the only areas currently available for such facilities, which meet state requirements and the local zoning map, would be the downtown business district and south of the railroad tracks.
Despite approving the sale of medical and recreational marijuana in city limits, Las Animas voters rejected Ballot Question 2D, which would have increased taxes on the sale of marijuana by 5 percent over the existing sales tax rate.
Members of the committee must first become familiar with existing state regulations before recommending additional fees and regulations to be implemented for marijuana facilities in Las Animas.
The committee is scheduled to meet again at 6 p.m. Thursday evening in City Council chambers.