GOLDEN, Colo. — The city of Golden could soon join a growing list of Colorado cities allowing the sale of recreational marijuana.
Currently, it's one of at least seven in the state, including Lakewood, that only allows medical marijuana sales.
"Why should Goldenites or other people that bypass through not be able to buy a legal product," Jim Dale, councilor for Golden's third ward, said Friday. "I think it's about time for us to act."
He and his fellow councilors are seeking feedback about a possible ballot proposal that would make retail shops legal in Golden.
For the owner of the city's only medical marijuana dispensary, that's nothing but good news.
"We get people coming in all of the time asking if we're recreational, and we have to send them elsewhere," said Ashley Close, CEO of Golden Alternative Medicine.
The medical marijuana industry isn't what it used to be, Close says, and missing out on retail sales is not sustainable.
"People are not renewing their cards as much. There are not as many vendors to choose from when you're purchasing wholesale," she said.
If the proposal the city council is drafting makes it on the ballot for the November 2021 election, Dale expects it to pass. His opinion is based on how Goldenites voted in 2012 when the state legalized recreational marijuana.
"Close to 70% of Goldenites said that was a positive vote for that, so it may be true even today that the high percentage of the Golden residents feel positive about that," Dale said.
The councilors are still working out the details, like how many retail shops would be allowed and how much to tax for marijuana sales. Right now, they're looking at a 6% excise tax.
"If you're going to get it, you should get some tax money for it," Dale said.
The deadline to put the proposal on the ballot is Aug. 10. Below are the current drafts:
AUTHORIZATION FOR RETAIL MARIJUANA STORES AND SALES
Shall the City of Golden authorize retail marijuana stores within the City and authorize such stores to sell retail marijuana, retail marijuana products, retail marijuana concentrate, and marijuana accessories, as defined in the Colorado Marijuana Code and Colorado Marijuana Rules, subject to all requirements of state law, as may be amended from time to time and subject to, and commencing upon the adoption by City Council of, local regulations governing the time, place, manner, and number of retail marijuana stores and local licensing requirements, as may be amended from time to time, conditioned on the voters approving a six percent (6%) excise tax on the price paid by the purchaser on the sale of retail marijuana, retail marijuana products, retail marijuana concentrate, and marijuana accessories in the November 2, 2021 election?
AUTHORIZATION FOR RETAIL MARIJUANA EXCISE TAX
SHALL THE CITY OF GOLDEN TAXES BE INCREASED BY $____________ ANNUALLY IN THE FIRST FISCAL YEAR (2022) AND BY WHATEVER ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS ARE RAISED ANNUALLY THEREAFTER, BY IMPOSING AN EXCISE TAX AT THE RATE OF SIX PERCENT (6%) OF THE PRICE PAID BY THE PURCHASER ON THE SALE OF RETAIL MARIJUANA, RETAIL MARIJUANA PRODUCTS, RETAIL MARIJUANA CONCENTRATE, AND MARIJUANA ACCESSORIES, AS DEFINED IN THE COLORADO MARIJUANA CODE, Page 3 COLORADO MARIJUANA RULES, AND APPLICABLE CITY ORDINANCES, CONDITIONED ON THE CITY COUNCIL TAKING SEPARATE ACTION TO AUTHORIZE RETAIL MARIJUANA STORES TO SELL SUCH ITEMS, AND COMMENCING UPON THE ADOPTION BY CITY COUNCIL, AND IMPLEMENTATION BY THE CITY, OF LOCAL REGULATIONS AND LICENSING REQUIREMENTS, AS MAY BE AMENDED FROM TIME TO TIME, AND SHALL THE REVENUE RECEIVED BY THE CITY FROM SUCH TAX BE SPENT FOR ANY LAWFUL MUNICIPAL PURPOSE AS A VOTER-APPROVED REVENUE CHANGE WITHOUT LIMITATION OR CONDITION, AND NOTWITHSTANDING ANY REVENUE OR EXPENDITURE LIMITATIONS CONTAINED IN ARTICLE X SECTION 20 OF THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION?
You can learn more about the proposal here.