Recreational marijuana industry banned

Posted

The Englewood City Council approved an ordinance on second reading prohibiting all aspects of the recreational marijuana industry in the city.

However, they elected to amend the wording of a proposed advisory ballot issue on the subject, which means final approval will be delayed at least two weeks.

The vote on the ordinance establishing the ban was 5-2, with Mayor Pro Tem Jim Woodward and Councilmember Joe Jefferson voting against it.

During the discussion of the issue, Jefferson said he would vote no because he feels the action ignores the fact that Englewood residents overwhelmingly voted to approve Amendment 64, legalizing the recreational marijuana industry. Woodward said he also voted no for the same reason.

Councilmember Rick Gillit said he would vote yes on the ordinance because, while it prevents the industry from coming into Englewood, it in no way restricts individuals from growing or using recreational marijuana.

The newly passed ordinance first defines recreational marijuana cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, testing facilities and retail stores, and then prohibited establishing any of these facilities or stores in Englewood.

In a separate action, the city council considered an ordinance placing an advisory question on the November ballot regarding the ban of all recreational marijuana facilities and stores.

Councilmember Jill Wilson said she felt the way the proposed ballot question was written didn’t clearly state that the ban places no restriction on the personal use or residents’ ability to grow their own recreational marijuana as allowed by Amendment 64.

Following a lengthy discussion, the council agreed to amend the ballot issue wording, to point out the proposal would not have an impact on personal rights regarding use and growing recreational marijuana, existing medical marijuana businesses, personal caregivers or patients.

Because the proposed ordinance was significantly amended, it will have to be considered for a final reading. That action is tentatively scheduled to happen at the May 20 council meeting.