By Susan de Castro McCann
LYONS – In April Lyons residents will vote on whether they want to keep medical marijuana centers, formerly called dispensaries, open in Lyons, or whether they want to close all the shops, ban any new grow facilities and marijuana centers, and follow the lead of Longmont and Fort Collins.
A petition to ban all medical marijuana centers in Lyons was signed by 106 residents and the town clerk deemed that 99 were good signatures, which is more than the required number to get the proposed ordinance placed on the ballot. The initiative if passed by voters would create an ordinance prohibiting any person from operating a medical marijuana center, grow operation, or an infused products manufacturing facility in the Town of Lyons, in accordance with the requirements of the Colorado Medical Marijuana Code; it would also impose fines and penalties for violation of the ordinance. The ordinance recognizes and affirms the ability of patients and primary caregivers to otherwise be afforded the protections of the Medical Marijuana Amendment passed by the voters in November 2000.
The ordinance, if approved by voters, would replace the current section of the Lyons municipal Code concerning medical marijuana. Former Mayor Nicholas Angelo spoke to the board against the proposed ordinance saying, “It is audacious and impatient.”
Residents have generated a lot of discussion around whether the proposed ordinance will pass. At this point it is too early to predict the outcome. Nevertheless, the remaining medical marijuana centers, there are three, are taking steps to be prepared for either outcome.
The three shops remaining in Lyons are:
The Bud Depot, which is owned by parent company Rocky Mountain Indoor Garden located at Lyons Village Central, 138 Main St., formerly owned by Reed Spear.
Headquarters Emporium and Dispensary, owned by parent company Headquarters LLC, which is temporarily relocating to the building known as the Red Hill Motorcycle Werx on East Main Street. Headquarters is owned by Ashley Rheingold.
Lyons Finest Confidential Care LLC at 4071 Ute Hwy. owned by Daniel Yim.
Headquarters needs to relocate by Dec. 14 to fulfill a state requirement that prohibits the shop from operating within 1,000 feet of a school. It was formerly located on Main Street across from the medical center. The board voted to extend the deadline (at the owners request) for the move to Jan. 14 by a close four to three vote. The attorney for Headquarters requested more time due to repairs and some remodeling requirements that need to be completed before it can open.
The board also approved a transfer of a business license from Rocky Mountain Indoor Gardens, doing business as the Bud Depot, to Headquarters, which will now hold two separate medical marijuana licenses. The Bud Depot will continue to operate under that name at the same location in Lyons Village Central, 138 Main St. If the ordinance to ban all medical marijuana centers in Lyons fails then Bud Depot and Headquarters will most likely merge into one facility.
The town has been trying to pare down to two medical marijuana centers and wants to keep the centers in town limited to that number. The current transactions would accomplish that goal. However if the ordinance passes, the medical marijuana centers would close and the town would be out the sales tax revenue generated by those businesses.
Jacquelyn Watson, economic development and community relations manager, said, “Usually if you have a business in town and no other town around has that business, that is a no brainer.” Watson indicated that as a business model, the medical marijuana centers would make good business sense, but other factors play into that model.
The town has done well this year with sales tax and the numbers are up for the year although the last few months have not been reported yet. So far every month except June has reported higher sales tax revenues over every month last year.
The town budget for 2012 will be $5.4 million and the town plans to spend more in 2012 than it will receive in revenues. The main reason for the discrepancy is due to the capital improvements that the town has been planning to do for over a year. These projects include much needed work on roads and streets in town. The town will not actually overspend its budget because monies were set aside in the enterprise funds (water, electric and waste water/sewer funds) for the past several years to work on capital improvements. Even though the town will spend more than it will take in this year, the money is available.
The town staff is looking at lowering the water rates which should come as good news for Lyons water users.Back to Top