Marijuana business may face new rules this spring aimed at creating a buffer between shops.
The Durango City Council favored a 250-foot radius between shops at a meeting Tuesday. The councilors selected this proposal from a menu of options including a cap on businesses and a rule that would prevent shops from opening on the first floor of business on Main Avenue.
The council in December placed a moratorium on new marijuana businesses in some areas to give time to set new land-use rules to govern them.
The buffer could be citywide and replace a current rule that limits marijuana shops downtown to one per block. If a shop opens along Main Avenue and it is not on a corner, a marijuana shop is allowed on adjacent side streets.
Councilors expect to hear from residents about the proposal before they vote on it, and they may tweak the new rule. “I would like to hear from the community to see if there are any pros or cons,” Councilor Dean Brookie said. The moratorium is expected to be extended two more times before land-use rules are approved, according to city documents.
Councilors also declined to provide water right away to three proposed grow facilities interested in building in Grandview. “We live in an arid region where a decade or two from now water could be more precious than it is now,” Councilor Dick White said.
The city could introduce water-recycling requirements if the council decided to provide water to new grows, City Manager Ron LeBlanc said.
Little incentive exists for the city to annex pot grows because they do not generate sales tax. In addition, some councilors feel the county is a better fit for this agricultural use.
Councilors seemed more open to revisiting a ban on infused marijuana product manufacturing.