Issue Of Pot Stores Comes To Mountain Towns

Telluride, Vail Holding Meetings About Medicinal Marijuana

The mountain towns of Telluride and Vail are holding meetings on Monday in order to tackle the issue of medicinal marijuana dispensaries.

Telluride is calling a special town council meeting to tackle the issues that come with opening a dispensary.

“It is something we have never had to deal with,” Telluride Mayor Stu Fraser said. “When the zone laws were made this wasn't even an idea.”

Fraser said the town is holding the special meeting because this town council wants to get the issue taken care of before a new council is formed. The rulings need two readings to pass, and those readings must be at least two weeks apart.

Fraser said that there are town elections in November, so the council wants to wrap up the issue before elections.

“We feel we need to do what other towns have done,” Fraser said. He added the town of 2,400 people is looking at the blueprint other mountain towns like Breckenridge and Frisco have adopted.

The council will tackle the details of zoning, sales tax and what types of signs will be allowed.

“We want to make sure we do this the best we can,” Fraser said. “We don’t want one opening up next to a school.”

Fraser said the town has received and approved three applications for dispensaries. He said the number seemed high for a town with a small population, but added there is no blueprint nor laws that limit the number of dispensaries beyond a government's discretion.

The town of Vail listed on its website the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission will meet on Monday afternoon to examine zoning rules. The website states the commission has three possible options: Do nothing, amend zoning to allow the use anywhere in town or amend zoning and limit the use in certain parts of town.

The commission’s recommendations will be forwarded to the town council, which will weigh the matter during a session on Oct. 20.