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Town Council Tuesday night approved the first reading of ballot language for the April 5 election regarding commercial medical marijuana. Second reading is scheduled for Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at Town Hall.
Castle Rock voters will decide whether Ordinance 2010-25 banning commercial medical marijuana operations should take effect or if it should be overturned. To read the prohibition ordinance and proposed ballot language, go to CRgov.com/mmj.
The local election will determine whether the Town will allow for medical marijuana centers and other related commercial activities. Regardless of this election, municipalities may not prohibit patients from growing their own marijuana or a caregiver from providing marijuana to up to five patients.
The owner of the Town’s only commercial medical marijuana business last fall submitted sufficient valid signatures from registered Castle Rock voters to refer the ban to Town Council for reconsideration.
Town Council was required by state law to either overturn the ban or to refer the question of whether it should take effect to voters. Council voted in favor of the latter option.
The ban is not in effect, pending the vote. Therefore, the current medical marijuana business may continue operations.
New commercial medical marijuana businesses may not open, however, as the Town has a moratorium on such businesses in place through June 30, 2011. After that time, depending on the outcome of the April 5 election, medical marijuana businesses would need licenses from both the Town and the state to operate here.
This will be a mail-in ballot election. Ballots will be sent to registered Castle Rock voters by mid-March, due back to the Town no later than 7 p.m. April 5.
Questions? Call the Town Attorney’s Office, 303-660-1388.