County commissioners hold special Jan. 7 meeting to discuss the status of regulations for licensing medical marijuana grow operations and dispensaries
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Look for yet another extension of Summit County’s moratorium on licensing medical marijuana dispensaries and grow operations to be enacted this week at a special county commissioner meeting.
The current moratorium is set to expire later this month and county attorney Jeff Huntley said local elected officials are still waiting for the state to finalize a regulatory framework. An initial state rule-making hearing is scheduled for later this month.
“It’s just preserving the status quo,” Huntley said, explaining that the county plans to extend the moratorium through the end of June, which matches the expiration of the state moratorium.
Currently, there are no legally licensed operations under county jurisdiction, but there may be several unlicensed grow operations that are in a legal twilight zone.
Huntley said there’s also some talk at the state level of making some more changes during the upcoming state legislative session, which could also affect any county rules. According to Huntley, waiting to adopt county regulations makes sense, so that those rules don’t have to be amended later.
The county moratorium does not affect operations in local towns. The county started to develop a set of local regulations last year, restricting any potential operations to just four commercial areas, including county land near the 7-11 at Highway 9 and French Gulch Road, the Wildernest commercial zone and the Heeney area. Read more about the pending county rules here.
A state law passed last year included a one-year moratorium on new dispensaries and grow operations, as well as new licensing requirements and fees.