Canon City is a step closer to lifting a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, but there will be big restrictions. The council was considering three different zoning ordinances Tuesday, and unanimously decided on one that would ban dispensaries from opening in the downtown business district.
It was a big set back for one dispensary that was all set to open.
"We already acquired a building at 408 Main Street," said Daniel Coleman. "Our storefront is pristine, very upscale, [we'd be] minimizing the advertising."
Coleman said now he'll take his business outside of Canon City. His lawyer told the council that it's plan would alienate medical marijuana users by keeping dispensaries in remote places that aren't as safe as the central business district.
Coleman presented the council with a petition he said was signed by more than two dozen downtown business owners who want his shop to open.
Debbie Lake's name wasn't on that list. She owns Classic Furniture and Accessories downtown and came to the meeting to urge the council to keep dispensaries away from her business.
"There's industrial areas that aren't in residential areas, that aren't near businesses, and I think that would be a great place to have them located," said Lake. "But, the downtown business district, it's not how we want Canon City represented."
Canon City's only dispensary, Rocky Mountain Cannabis, operates across from Lake's shop. It opened before the city started its moratorium.
"We've seen people smoke their marijuana right outside my store," she said.
That dispensary will have to close next year because it's not in compliance with a new state law. After that, downtown will likely remain dispensary free.
"There's no room for anything to actually open, not reasonably," said Coleman. "Unless they want to open in a shed."
The council will take a final vote on the ordinance in two weeks, and after that the moratorium on dispensaries will be lifted.