Yampa Town Board to hold special meeting to discuss medical marijuana
Steamboat Springs — Yampa town leaders will gauge residents’ tolerance for medical marijuana during a special meeting tonight at Town Hall.
The feedback could help determine what, if any, action the town should take related to the hot-button issue.
The town of Yampa has a moratorium on medical marijuana businesses that will last until July 1, unless town leaders repeal
it. Mayor Bruce Pitts said a survey was sent out to residents asking whether they want to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in town.
Tonight’s special Town Board meeting is intended to allow residents to voice their opinions and for town leaders to decide whether the moratorium is reasonable, Yampa Town Clerk Janet Ray said.
“They’re not going to do anything regarding any regulations for allowing (medical marijuana businesses) until they find out if the citizens want them, so this is like Step 1,” Ray said.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in Yampa Town Hall. There are no other items on the agenda. Residents who cannot attend the meeting can submit written statements to Town Hall by 4 p.m. today.
Pitts said several people spoke in favor of allowing dispensaries during the September meeting when the Town Board passed the moratorium, but this is a chance for more people to voice opinions.
If the town opts to allow medical marijuana businesses, town leaders will seek additional input from residents about what regulations should be put in place, such as how far marijuana businesses should be from schools, Pitts said.
Routt County Manager Tom Sullivan said the town can use its zoning regulations to restrict where the businesses can be located, or ban them altogether like Hayden has done.
The town had one medical marijuana dispensary, operated by J-Jay Johnson, but he said he closed shop because of the high cost of a state license. He and his partners are finishing their contracts as caretakers for medical marijuana cardholders, but he said he does not expect it to continue.
Johnson’s business was aimed primarily at food-based medical marijuana products and tinctures — liquids that are brewed using marijuana.
He said it was the state fees and not local regulations that “strong-armed” him out of business.
Johnson, Ray and Pitts all said they have not heard of any other medical marijuana businesses opening in Yampa.
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