Medical Marijuana Businesses
Medical marijuana businesses are prohibited within the Town of Erie.
In accordance with Ordinance 32-2010, it is "unlawful for any person to operate, cause to be operated or permit to be operated a medical marijuana center, an optional premises cultivation operation, or a medical marijuana infused products manufacturing facility in the town."
May 13, 2014: The Board of Trustees approved two ordinances that address the Town's interest in local control and authority with regards to medical marijuana cultivation and use. The ordinances balance the reasonable and lawful rights of individuals including patients and primary caregivers with the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the public. Those protections include the prevention and mitigation of deleterious and negative secondary effects that may occur or are likely to occur from the presence of medical and recreational marijuana most notably in residential neighborhoods within the Town of Erie.
1. Ordinance 17-2014 revises specific provisions of the Erie Municipal Code related to the cultivation, processing and possession of medical marijuana. Pursuant to the ordinance, the maximum number of medical marijuana plants a person may cultivate, process or possess in a residential zoned area is six (6) plants. Also according to the ordinance:
- It shall be unlawful for any primary caregiver to cultivate, produce, possess or process more than six medical marijuana plants in any residential zoned district within the Town.
- Any patient or primary caregiver with legal authorization from the State to cultivate, produce, possess or process more than six medical marijuana plants, may do so only in the Light Industrial (LI) zone, as defined and set forth in the Erie Unified Development Code.
2. Fees: Ordinance 18-2014 establishes an application fee for medical marijuana caregiver license and medical marijuana patient registration applications. The ordinance also updates some of the fees charged by the police department (which were last updated in 2006).
November 13, 2012: The Board approved Ordinance 27-2012, an ordinance amending the business regulations portion of the Town's Municipal Code to include a new chapter addressing the cultivation of medical marijuana within primary residences. The ordinance balances the reasonable and lawful rights of patients and primary caregivers with the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the public through the prevention and mitigation of deleterious and negative secondary effects that may occur or are likely to occur from the presence of medical marijuana in the Town of Erie. The ordinance was passed on First Reading and as an emergency takes effect immediately.
December 14, 2010: The Town adopted legislation prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries within the Town. However, "Patients" (who have obtained from the State a medical marijuana registry card) and "Primary Caregivers" may lawfully cultivate and process medical marijuana for themselves or their patients. Prior to the Board's action Tuesday night, there were no local regulations regarding such marijuana grows. The Town has specific authority to enact regulations related to marijuana grows of patients and caregivers. Considering the potential risks associated with indoor grow operations, Town Staff and the Board agreed that it is in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Town (both current and future), that the Town adopt regulations related to indoor marijuana grows. In addition, local regulation of marijuana grows is necessary to protect town staff from exposure to health risks from grow operations (including police, building inspectors).
December 14, 2010: The Board approved Ordinance 32-2010 making it "unlawful for any person to operate, cause to be operated or permit to be operated a medical marijuana center, an optional premises cultivation operation, or a medical marijuana infused products manufacturing facility in the town."
November 9, 2010: Board of Trustees meeting, the Board of Trustees directed the Town Attorney to prepare an ordinance for consideration by the Board prohibiting medical marijuana centers, optional premises cultivation operations, and medical marijuana-infused products manufacturing facilities in the Town in accordance with the "Local Option" provided by state legislation. The Board reasoned that the decision to prohibit such businesses would not significantly affect the ability of patients in Erie to receive medical marijuana due to the availability of medical marijuana through local primary care givers and existing nearby medical marijuana businesses, but would give the Town flexibility in addressing a complex issue. The Board further indicated that following observation of the ongoing medical marijuana situation, the experiences of other municipalities in regulating the businesses and expected changes to the laws, the Board may be willing to revisit the prohibition in the future.
The new state legislation allows municipalities, to prohibit "the cultivation or sale of medical marijuana" in the Town. C.R.S. §12-43.3-103(2)(a) and C.R.S. §12-43.3-106, "Local Option." This Local Option, prohibits the opening and operation of medical marijuana businesses in Erie. House Bill 10-1284 defines medical marijuana businesses as medical marijuana centers, medical infused marijuana manufacturers and optional premises cultivation operations (these businesses were formerly referred to as "dispensaries" prior to the adoption of HB 1284).
August 24, 2010: The Board approved the extension of the Town's current temporary medical marijuana moratorium to July 1, 2011, in conformance with the terms of House Bill 10-1284. The extension was requested by Town staff in order to provide the necessary time to investigate, develop and present regulations concerning such businesses, and in order to allow the Board of Trustees to consider the alternatives provided to the Town by HB 10-1284.
February 23, 2010: The Board approved Ordinance 06-2010, an ordinance extending the existing temporary moratorium on the submission, acceptance, processing, and approval of any application for a business and occupation license, permit, building permit, and land use application of the Town of Erie related to the operation of a business that sells medical marijuana. The Town would like additional time to investigate the Town's regulatory authority over such businesses and therefore is extending the moratorium for an additional period of time in anticipation of regulatory legislation from current session of the State Legislature. Last night's Board approval of Ordinance 06-2010 extends the moratorium through October 6, 2010.
October 13, 2009: The Board approved Ordinance 21-2009, and ordinance imposing a temporary (180 days) moratorium on the submission, acceptance, processing, and approval of any application for a business and occupation license, permit, building permit, and land use application of the Town of Erie related to the operation of a business that sells medical marijuana.
Community Development staff has received multiple inquiries from persons interested in opening and operating medical marijuana businesses within the Town of Erie. Town staff, in consultation with the Town Attorney, has reviewed Title 4 (Business Regulations) and Title 10 (UDC) of the Erie Municipal Code to determine the eligibility of operating a medical marijuana business within Town limits. Staff has determined that there are no current land use designations or business regulations that govern the operation of such businesses. Imposition of the moratorium will provide staff the necessary time to investigate, develop and present regulations to the Board of Trustees concerning such businesses.