Telluride Colorado 'Green Lights' Retail Pot Regulations

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The New Year will be a new start for recreational marijuana use in Telluride Colorado. Firing up after Jan. 1, adults over 21, that live in or visit Telluride will be free to stroll into a nearby marijuana store and buy weed, minus any need for a state medical marijuana card.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the town’s city council endorsed and passed an ordinance which will regulate retail pot shops in the old silver mining town. The ordinance establishes a licensing framework that is similar to Telluride’s medical marijuana system, kicking the door for business and allowing retail marijuana shops to begin sales in early 2014.

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The approval makes Telluride one of the few municipalities on the Western Slope to allow the sales of marijuana. Grand Junction, Montrose and most recently, Norwood, have all decided to ban retail sales, joining larger cities around the state like Greeley and Colorado Springs. Nearby Durango placed a moratorium on the sale of non-medical pot, meanwhile.

While Colorado’s passage of Amendment 64 last November made it perfectly legal for those 21 and older to have up to an Oz. of Colorado’s finest weed, the actual implementation of firing up any retail marijuana stores had been postponed while state officials drafted rules and regulations, looking at how recreational marijuana should be cultivated and then sold to the public.

Following the release of the state’s rules, the Town of Telluride began the process of creating its own licensing regulations for retail shops, opting to do that rather than prohibiting retail marijuana facilities. In Telluride, where medical marijuana dispensaries have been operating with few problems for the last couple of years, the decision to also allow retail sales brought little controversy.

The council gave the ordinance preliminary approval in late August, and on Tuesday held a public hearing and second reading on the regulations.

The ordinance includes a framework that allows the town’s current medical marijuana dispensaries to transition into retail stores if they choose, and to operate as dual retail and medical facilities under certain conditions. It also sets out rules on things like signage, ventilation and cultivation. It allows cultivation in commercial buildings, imposes a proximity limitation that keeps retail marijuana shops at least 500 feet away from schools and contains signage regulations that makes it unlawful to use advertising that is misleading, deceptive or false or that appeals to minors. It also makes it unlawful to consume, use, display or grow marijuana on town-owned or leased property.

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Born in Long Beach, raised on the central coast: I surf, dab, burn, and blog – though not necessarily in that order. I'm a husband, a father and a lifelong consumer of connoisseur grade weed. I don't drink alcohol or consume any other "drugs." I consider myself to be living proof that weed is not a gateway drug. If it were, I'd be in some serious trouble. Instead, as a 50-year-old ex-realtor that has been smoking weed for nearly 80% of my life (just did the math) ... I can only say, marijuana is safer than prescription pills or alcohol could ever hope to be for calming what stirs the savage beast.