The Windsor Town Board on Monday approved on first reading a series of ordinances that would ultimately ban marijuana shops, clubs or cultivation facilities within the community.
“I want to make sure that I lead by example — that the quality of life I brought my family here for ... is maintained,” Mayor John Vazquez said. “People might disagree with me ... but to me, personally, I’ll err on the side of caution.”
The three separate ordinances that were passed each took aim on different aspects of the pot industry — the subject of contentious discussions across Colorado in wake of Amendment 64. Many local governments across the state have taken preemptive action in an attempt to control the industry before it can establish any roots.
The most contentious part of the evening hinged on banning “private marijuana clubs” within the town’s commercial and industrial properties. The clubs have been referred to as legal gray areas and have been the subject for several heated discussions among town board members.
Though the ordinance addresses cannabis clubs as the gathering of individuals in certain types of properties to consume marijuana, even town attorney Ian McCargar acknowledged potential legal limitations of the ordinance if challenged.
When the dust cleared, Myles Baker and Jeremy Rose were the only ones who opposed the measure, citing language they said overstepped legal boundaries and could leave too much room for interpretation. Rose later added he was disappointed there was very little discussion about marijuana itself, and he said the emotions being injected into the talks were marring solid decision-making.
“It’s obviously a heated issue for the town, but people can be on different sides and still both have reasonable arguments,” he said.
The other two ordinances passed unanimously with little argument including a measure that banned the retail sale of marijuana within town. The final measure addressed large-scale, noncommercial grow operations and limits the maximum number of pot plants at one address to 24. Growing operations larger than 400 cubic-feet will also be prohibited.
Each of the three ordinances are expected go to second reading March 25, where the public will again be permitted to speak on the record and any potential changes or new ideas can be discussed.