The Pueblo West View

Metro District says ‘no more pot shops’

No more marijuana business in Pueblo West – that’s the statement the Pueblo West Metro District Board of Directors is making to the Pueblo County Commissioners, on behalf of a vocal portion of the Pueblo West community.

After multiple meetings full of lengthy public comments and debate, the Metro Board of Directors passed a resolution last week that declared the District “opposes the licensing of any additional retail marijuana outlets, cultivation centers, production of marijuana infused products or clubs” within the Pueblo West Metropolitan District.

Board members reminded the public that attended the meeting that the resolution is only symbolic and holds no official legal validity because the county has authority when it comes to zoning and land use decisions.

“The essence of this resolution is to express your concerns to the folks that have the power to do those things,” said Board President Lew Quigley. “I hope you can bear with us in realizing the position that we’re all in, and we’ll send this to the Pueblo County Commissioners.”

The issue has been a hot button one that has drawn large crowds to the Metro Board’s past several meetings. Standing room only groups have come to listen and address the board during public comment, most to voice their discontentment with the number of marijuana establishments located in Pueblo West.

The Pueblo County Commissioners had previously put a limit of 10 marijuana licenses for the 2014 calendar year, and all of those have been issued or are in the process – seven are located within Pueblo West.

The resolution passed by the Metro Board asks that no additional licensees be granted in Pueblo West for the sale, growing, cultivation or production of marijuana-infused products.

Many Pueblo West residents who attended the meeting thanked the Board for considering and passing the resolution, giving them a voice they said they’ve been working hard to be heard.

“I think this is a classic illustration of government at its best – citizens that came and expressed their concerns and the board listens. It gives you the opportunity to tell us what you think it should be,” said Quigley. “We work for you. You don’t work for us.”

The resolution also asks County Commissioners to consider dedicating three of the nine seats on the Pueblo County Planning Commission to Pueblo West Metro District residents.

Additionally, the Board requested that the County and Metro District enter into an agreement for sharing a proportional amount of revenue, tax and fees generated by the marijuana industry within the boundaries of the Pueblo West Metro District.

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