Question on recreational pot sales won't be on ballot

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County commissioners will give task force time to present findings

By Ramsey Scott

Jeffco's county commissioners won't ask residents to vote this fall on whether recreational marijuana stores should be allowed in the county's unincorporated areas. 

The commissioners decided July 22 against putting a measure on the November ballot, a decision that will let the county’s marijuana task force complete its work and present findings to the board. 

The task force’s last scheduled meeting is Aug. 19, but a final report won’t be ready for the commissioners until early September, said Jeanie Rossillon, Jeffco’s director of development and transportation.

The last chance commissioners would have to vote to put the question on the ballot is at their Aug. 19 meeting.   

“The task force was asked to do something for us, and if they’re not ready with the information … I’d just as soon we wait until their report is is done and we miss this election,” Commissioner Faye Griffin said during the board’s July 22 staff briefings.

Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado, allows cities and counties to either allow or ban recreational sales and grow operations. The law also allows the question to be put to voters, but it must be done during an even-year election. 

If recreational marijuana sales were allowed, the county would receive a 1.5 percent share of the state’s sales tax, along with the county's usual sales tax. The county said the state legislature might look at expanding taxing options on marijuana sales for counties and cities in 2015. 

Currently, all recreational marijuana businesses are banned in the county by a moratorium the board enacted last year. That moratorium, which the commissioners could decide to extend, is set to expire on Feb. 1, 2015. 

Contact Ramsey Scott at ramsey@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22, and follow him on Twitter @RamseyColumbine.