CO: Medical marijuana business ban set to pass in Fort Collins based on unofficial re

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  1. claygooding claygooding

    • DrugWarVeteran
    • Since: May 13, 2009
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    CO: Medical marijuana business ban set to pass in Fort Collins based on unofficial result
    Coloradoan / Kevin Duggan / 11,02,2011


    Fort Collins voters have decided to snuff out medical marijuana businesses in the city based on unofficial results from Tuesday’s election.

    A proposal to ban marijuana dispensaries, grow operations and manufacturers of marijuana-infused products was ahead 53 percent to 47 percent when county officials shut down vote counting Tuesday evening out of concerns about the weather and the safety of election judges. Counting is expected to continue this morning.

    Supporters of the ban declared victory when initial results showed yes votes on Question 300 ahead by more than 2,300 votes.

    Gathered at Sonny Lubick Steakhouse to celebrate, supporters credited community members for passing petitions that placed the measure on the city ballot and then turning out at the polls to support it. “It looks very solid for a victory tonight and this is a solid victory for the citizens of Fort Collins,” City Council member Wade Troxell told cheering supporters.

    If the election result holds up, it will send a message to the City Council — which approved regulations that allowed medical marijuana businesses in the city — that Fort Collins is a family oriented town that does not want to be known as “a city of potheads,” said Ray Martinez, a former mayor. Opponents to the ban glumly followed the election results at their campaign headquarters on Linden Street.

    While holding out hope that later results may be more favorable to their cause, opponents admitted the election did not appear to be going their way. The ban would force the city’s 20 licensed medical marijuana businesses to shut down within 90 days of the election results being certified. Steve Ackerman, president of the Fort Collins Medical Cannabis Association and a dispensary owner, said he does not anticipate a legal challenge to the election results.

    A ban on local dispensaries will mean medical marijuana patients will have to travel to Denver or Boulder to get the marijuana they want or to caregivers who grow in residential areas, Ackerman said.

    “The patients are the biggest losers, but I think our community is at a loss,” he said. Without marijuana businesses to fund the state’s Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, regulators will not keep track of neighborhood grow operations, he said.

    Ackerman said many voters who were considered “inactive” because they did not vote in the 2010 election were not aware they would not receive a ballot for this election.

    The campaign against the ban focused on educating inactive voters and urging them to reactivate their registration, he said. Voters apparently did not fully understand the issue, Ackerman said.

    Medical marijuana businesses already have been banned in most regional communities, including Loveland, Windsor and Greeley.
    Supporters of the ban said allowing dispensaries in Fort Collins sent the wrong message to the community, especially its youth.

    Bob Powell, chairman of Concerned Fort Collins Citizens, which put the measure on the ballot, said many residents felt their city was at risk.
    “People really felt like the character of a great city was changing and changing rapidly with the existence of these dispensaries …,” he said. “This was something that was burning in the hearts of people.”

    Use of medical marijuana to treat debilitating conditions was approved by Colorado voters in 2000. The dispensary model is tightly regulated and is better for patients and communities than less-regulated approaches to dispersing medical marijuana, Ackerman said. “I think the people of Fort Collins did not get all of the information,” he said.

    Opponents to the ban had more than $125,000 to spend on their campaign, while proponents raised about $14,000. Among those fighting the ban was the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7.

    The presence of the Wheat Ridge-based union was an “insult” to Fort Collins voters, Martinez said. “We don’t need people from Denver coming up here telling us how to vote,” he said. “That kind of thing has never played here.”
  2. Monterey Bud Monterey Bud

    • Administrator
    • Since: Nov 16, 2011
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    Three years, and a national election can go a long way to changing a tiny cash strapped communities Outlook on this ever evolving topic …

    Fort Collins Colorado: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban Up In Smoke

    The city now charges a $2,000 application fee, a $1,000 license fee and $700 for an inspection associated with each license issuance or $250 renewal. The city’s first application fee in 2010 was $500, with annual renewal costing $700.

    “It has increased quite a bit,” said Ginny Sawyer, neighborhood administrator for the city of Fort Collins. “Part of that is because we have the previous experience, and we had underestimated the demands on city resources.”

    Along with the other pro-pot votes that happened in November, Fort Collins enjoyed its own minor victory when voters repealed the ban of their mmj collectives by passing Measure 301
    In 2011, before the ban, the city determined that it would break even if the application fee was hiked to $1,500 while adjusting renewal fees to $100 and imposing a $700 fee for inspections, Sawyer said.

    Source

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