Nov 17, 2010 11:04 PM by John Romero
The past two weeks have been a rough go for medical marijuana center owner Jeff Sveinsson. "It's been very stressful not knowing." he says. With a proposed mmj shop ban voted down in El Paso County, he's happy to see that his business will be allowed to stay up and running. But says there's more work to be done. He's in favor of the county regulations covering medical marijuana. Sveinsson's center includes 6 employees and a $200,000 payroll. He says further regulation could not only legitimize him, but also help the county. "You pay your payroll taxes, you pay income taxes, it benefits everyone in the long run." he explains.
El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa, who was originally in favor of the ban also welcomes the regulation. "I think the ban being defeated keeps us where we were before the election." he explains, "Right now it's an opportunity to see how they're going to run... Identify the ones that are following the letter of the law and regulations, and it gives us some level of enforcement." Maketa thinks the mmj centers and the community as a whole can benefit. "With the regulations the board and county commissioners put in place, we're not going to have dispensary businesses in our neighborhoods. We're not going to have them near schools. We're not going to have them by churches." he says "I think that's a win-win for the community."
As for the fears that centers will take over El Paso County now that the ban has failed, Sveinsson says the tried and true business model will take care of that on its own. "I believe that the people that are not good businessmen or that don't provide a good, high quality medical grade marijuana for decent prices will go out of business." he says.