DE BEQUE, Colo. It's coming, marijuana is on it's way to the Western Slope.
There is still a lot to be done before pot shops start popping up in DeBeque, but the town's planning and zoning commission made big strides last night towards getting ready for the transition.
It was a nearly split decision, but once the final ballots were tallied, DeBeque officially approved the recreational sale of pot.
The town's government put a moratorium on the sale until June 30th, but with that deadline quickly approaching, the town's board of trustees and it's advisers have a lot of decisions to make.
"How close to schools, to neighborhoods, to traffic corridors, where do we fit in the market of recreational marijuana," says Town Manager, Guy Patterson.
That's where the planning and zoning commission comes in and in their latest resolution they made big strides towards answering some tough questions.
If the approved ordinance is passed by the board of trustees, retail marijuana sites, including stores and cultivation facilities, will be allowed by special permit in certain zones of town.
Another hot button topic that many locals have brought up is distance from schools.
The federal government standard is a 1,000 foot buffer from any school, but Colorado law allows local governments to make the final decision on just how close they will be.
This ordinance would not give a specific distance the shops must be from schools, but would define those specific zones, most of which will be a significant distance from the school.
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