Working in opposition to the will of voters who passed Amendment 64 in November, Weld County Commissioners heard a second reading on Dec. 26, 2012, of a proposed county code banning the cultivation and sales of recreational marijuana in the unincorporated areas of the county.
If approved by formal vote following a scheduled third public reading, the change to the county code would prohibit “operation of marijuana cultivation facilities, marijuana product manufacturing facilities, marijuana testing facilities, and/or retail marijuana stores within the unincorporated area of Weld County.”
Marijuana, which remains illegal under federal law as a Schedule 1 dangerous drug, found a measure of legality among Colorado voters this year, who amended the state constitution during the fall elections. Voting with the state majority, Weld County citizens approved the measure with a narrow 50.3 percent margin. The county’s proposed ban targets only retail and commercial operations, not personal use.
Weld stands to become the second county in the state to ban the sale of recreational marijuana, following passage of a similar measure in Douglas County, in effect since Dec. 27. With state officials still juggling efforts to regulate the fledgling industry, shops selling marijuana are unlikely to open until January 2014 at the earliest. The Colorado Department of Revenue plans to have rules in place to regulate the industry after July 1.
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