Weld County commissioners this morning finalized a ban on retail pot stores and cultivation facilities, reiterating the fact that they are following the wish of voters in unincorporated Weld County.
While Amendment 64 did pass in Weld County, voters in the unincorporated parts of the county — which is where this ordinance applies — did not approve the amendment, commissioners said. Municipalities within the county have the option to ban stores, allow them or wait and see what the governor’s task force comes up with, they said.
The state constitutional amendment allows the possession and use of small amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and older.
Weld Commissioner Doug Rademacher reminded those at the meeting that this ordinance does not prohibit individuals from using or growing small amounts of marijuana. Commissioners also said that if the status of marijuana changed at the federal level, they would likely review their ordinance and change it.
“If it was legal federally, we wouldn’t have an issue with it,” Rademacher said.
Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer said it was important that the board pass the ordinance to ensure local businesses aren’t caught in any confusion. When the state approved of medical marijuana, she said many dispensary-related businesses in Weld County were put in a bind because commissioners did not immediately ban them.
“We, too, are in a wait-and-see mode even though we are passing an ordinance here,” Kirkmeyer said. In the meantime, she said the board must be clear about what is and is not allowed in the county.
The two Weld County residents at the ordinance’s final hearing stressed the importance of industrial hemp to commissioners, asking them to consider allowing farmers to grow it.
Commissioners replied that they would not have a problem with allowing hemp if it were legal at the federal level.