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Rules for medical marijuana dispenserie outlined

by Brian Orr

WALSENBURG- The Walsenburg City Council unveiled a 26-page document Tuesday evening, ordinance 994, which describes in detail who, what, when, where and why a person can open a medical marijuana dispensary in town.

    City Attorney Dan Hyatt prefaced the delivery of the ordinance by stating that it was difficult to write this legislation because it is so new.  He modeled his effort on what is in front of the Colorado legislature right now, which in turn is based on the current liquor code.

    There were several people in the audience who are hoping to open medical marijuana dispensaries in town, including James Blackshear, who has a storefront on Main Street.  “I’ve got thirty people knocking on my door, wanting my stuff,” he told the council.

    But Blackshear and others might find more hurdles in front of them besides finding a supplier.  They must be designated a primary caregiver by the individual with the doctor’s note.  They must also not have a firearm on the premises, and cannot live on the premises, which could be a problem for Blackshear, who is a bounty hunter and lives in the back of his building.  “I gotta read this all over,” mumbled Blackshear, as he left the meeting.  “I ain’t going to jail for this stuff.”

    The full legal ordinance can be read in this paper, or picked up at the Walsenburg Town Hall.­  The first reading passed with the Council.

    In other business, Erin Jerant, chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee, reported that a final decision as to whether or not to open the Walsenburg Wild Water Waters will be made at the next council meeting, after staff prepares final information to make their decision with.

    She also noted that the skate park was still looking for funds to complete their project this summer.

    James England, chairman of the Finance Committee, said that the City and the County have begun initial talks about the Indian Pool Ranch project, which would create a 35-acre industrial park out by Northlands.

    England also said that despite being almost $500,000 short, the committee recommends moving forward and begin breaking ground on the waste water treatment plant.  The council did later vote to do this.

    Hugh Brown, the owner of the incoming grocery store, was on hand as the Council voted to approve funds to build a turn lane into the site of his store.  When asked if he would be putting in a bakery, Brown responded “Yes- a significant bakery and a deli.”

    Businessman Gregg Mitchell of Mitchell Hauz Industries talked to the Council about relocating his business to Walsenburg.  Mitchell envisions employing up to 500 people in a technology park, with the offices located in the third floor of the Walsenburg library.  The Council asked Mitchell to come back in two weeks to make a formal presentation.