Fruita voters to decide if marijuana sale should be allowed

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FRUITA, Colo. Residents in this little town have a big choice to make, but many voters already have their minds made up.

"I would support a pot shop," Dante Pestello, Fruita Resident.

"I would rather there not be," Lynn Slaughter, Fruita Resident.

Fruita City Council members adopted an ordinance in 2013 banning retail pot shops, but they're putting the option back on the table.

"The Council felt fairly safe in approving an ordinance that banned those sales, but they want to make sure that's the desire of the citizens of Fruita and that's why it's on the ballot in April," Margaret Sell, Fruita Finance Director.

There are two questions on the April ballot, one about marijuana sales and one about excise taxes.

The first question asks if the establishment and operation of retail marijuana cultivation facilities, testing facilities, product manufacturing facilities and stores should be permitted in the city of Fruita.

The second asks if the city of Fruita's taxes should be increased by $100,000 annually by imposing a marijuana excise tax at the rate of 5% of the price paid for the purchase of retail marijuana products and accessories.

The excise tax would be used for enforcement of regulations on the retail marijuana industry, administration of retail marijuana regulations and other general purposes of the city.

If approved the City Council would work on the next steps of getting tax information out to residents, looking into the planning and zoning of where retail shops can go and dealing with the regulations that would affect locations.

Ballots will be mailed out to Fruita residents the week of March 10th and will have to be turned in by April 1st before 7 p.m. that night.

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