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Cortez City Council Decides Against Marijuana Grow Operations In Industrial Park

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Rusty Blazenhoff
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Creative Commons

A deeply divided Cortez City Council opted Tuesday not to change city regulations to allow marijuana-growing operations in the industrial park.

Businessman Mark Rogers had sought the change nearly a year ago in order to lease one of his buildings to a commercial grower. Police Chief Roy Lane told the council at its work session Tuesday that his department could not take on inspections for grow operations without hiring another officer. He said paying for that would require implementing an excise tax, because growers would not have to pay the city’s existing marijuana sales tax. Councilors Orly Lucero, Tim Miller and Jill Carlson said cannabis should be treated no differently than liquor and pointed out the city had changed an ordinance to allow a new brewpub downtown. But Mayor Karen Sheek argued grow sites could come to dominate the industrial park. Ty Keel said Donald Trump’s attorney general pick, Jeff Sessions, is anti-marijuana and could shut down legal pot. Shawna McLaughlin and Bob Archibeque also opposed the change, tipping the balance against the proposed use.

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