Pubdate: Thu, 24 May 2012
Source: Summit Daily News (CO)
Copyright: 2012 Summit Daily News
Author: Caddie Nath


Hold up over residential grow permit prices persists

BRECKENRIDGE - Summit County government finalized a set of policies
regulating the sale, cultivation and production of medical marijuana
and marijuana-infused products Tuesday ahead of the final state
deadline in July.

The new regulations dropped a controversial earlier proposal to allow
zoning for large commercial grow centers on the north side of the
county that upset some residents in the area and presented possible
logistical problems.

The newly adopted regulations also leave out, for now, a fee schedule
for residential grow permits.

County officials debated the right fee to place on the permits at the
meeting Tuesday, torn between wanting the fee to cover administration
costs, but not wanting the permits to become so expensive as to
discourage the public from getting them.

Each is expected to cost more than $400 in staff time to issue, but
planners suggested charging $165 for permits the first year.

"One hundred sixty-five dollars does not seem onerous at all when you
consider what it would cost for (a grower) to just go buy the
product," County Commissioner Karn Steigelmeier said Tuesday. "It
seems arbitrarily low. I think ideally we'd want to go in another year
to what it really costs, but I think it is wise to start at a lower

A community member at the meeting argued taxpayers should not be
subsidizing expenses associated with medical marijuana.

The county has not yet reached a final decision on the

The new county regulations are very similar to those of the town of
Breckenridge, staffers said.

Retail, production and cultivation centers are now allowed to operate
in commercially or industrially zoned locations in unincorporated
Summit County that are at least 50 feet from residential areas and
1,000 feet from schools, child care centers and colleges.

The new policies regulate hours of operation, signage, alcohol and
marijuana consumption on site and security systems as well as waste
disposal, ventilation, parking and other issues.

The county government has delayed adopting the policies for several
years, waiting for the Colorado legislature to clarify and finalize
state regulations before developing local ones.

But the clock was to run out for local regulations this year. If the 
county had not developed local rules for the sale and cultivation of 
medical marijuana by July 1 it would have defaulted to the state's 
policies, which would cost the local government almost all control over 
which, where and how many medical marijuana businesses are opened in 
unincorporated Summit County, according to a staff report. Under state 
regulations, local officials would also be unable to regulate centers' 
signs, size or odor.
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