Posted: Jun 28, 2011 9:32 PM by John Romero
Updated: Jun 29, 2011 3:19 AM
After much discussion and even more questions, the Colorado Springs City Council has only decided to move on 1 of the 14 proposed fees for medical marijuana businesses.
Councilman Tim Leigh and most everyone else on council tell us the proposed fees seem like they could be too high, as the mmj industry has been saying. "There are a lot of issues at the state level. There are a lot of issues at the local level. We need to have clear heads and a good pencil that gives us the right math when we start figuring out what kind of charges to asses." explained Leigh.
Also at hand the question of whether stores should have to pay for local background checks when the state is already doing them. Some council members said it seemed redundant and a possible waste of store owners money. Colorado Springs Police Chief Richard Myers disagreed. "Let's make this simple." he said to council, "We get the state information. It's not complete. We do not re-do the state investigation. We only plug the holes that are left that we do not get from the state."
At the end of the session, council only passed a $2,200 application fee after Councilman Leigh suggested the move to push forward without stalling the entire process. "What this does is keep the folks who are in the medical marijuana industry in business while we sort out what it is that we need to sort out... And then do the right things for the right reasons... Not just for expediency's sake." said Leigh.
Although it wasn't exactly what they wanted, the medical marijuana industry was happy with the outcome. "We appreciate the fact that city council is moving forward." said Tanya Garduno with the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council, "The $2,200 is still a little high but it's definitely lower than what we were anticipating. Every center before would have to shell out $5,800 so $2,200 is definitely something we can work with."
City Council has said they will wait at least 60 days for more complete information on where the fee estimates came from before making any more decisions.