Posted: Dec 14, 2010 10:57 PM by John Romero
Updated: Dec 14, 2010 11:51 PM
A marathon session for Colorado Springs City Council Tuesday night resulted in a win of sorts for those in the medical marijuana industry. Council voted unanimously to approve zoning requirements surrounding medical marijuana centers.
Notably, the new requirements did not include some stricter measures that opponents said would put mmj centers out of business. The biggest item for most was a planning commission proposed thousand foot buffer between mmj centers and pre-schools, k-12 schools, colleges, residential child care facilities and drug and alcohol rehab centers. This was aggressively shot down by those in the mmj industry because of an already existing 400 foot rule they abide by.
Although there were an overwhelming amount of medical marijuana proponents at Tuesday's meeting, there were some detractors as well. The Catholic Archdiocese along with Colorado College and UCCS both spoke in favor of a thousand foot buffer between mmj centers and their buildings.
In the end, it seems city council felt the proposed rules were just too restrictive to medical marijuana businesses. Several council members, including Bernie Herpin, openly scolded the planning commission who came up with the proposed guidelines. Herpin, along with Vice-Mayor Larry Small said there was no possible way any mmj business could operate, much less thrive under many of the commission's proposals.
Other zoning rules include the ability of medical marijuana businesses to open in commercial areas, while also letting them remain in office and industrial complexes. Council also shot down the commission's proposal that set guidelines on how mmj businesses had to make use of their space for growing medical marijuana. Many council members noted that no other businesses are subjected to the type of scrutiny that the medical marijuana centers faced on how to use their space.