PUEBLO, Colo. - Pueblo City Council approved a licensing ordinance for retail marijuana grows, as well as manufacturing and testing facilities.
Before council approved the ordinance, five people spoke in favor of it. Many encouraged council to lift the moratorium on recreational marijuana stores that expires on Nov. 30.
"Please hurry up and craft rules and regulations for retail marijuana stores and get moving on passing those regulations and allowing business owners to start applying to open these businesses in the city of Pueblo," said Pueblo resident Dave Lemon.
Council plans to put a question on the ballot in November, asking whether a tax should be placed on recreational marijuana stores. If the majority of voters approve of the tax, council is expected to approve the stores in the city limits.
Council members Eva Montoya and Chris Nicoll voted against the licensing ordinance on Monday night.
The city will begin accepting applications for grows, manufacturing and testing facilities on July 1.
During Monday's council meeting, council members also agreed to hire a consultant to study the city's illegal dumping problem.
By a four to three vote, council agreed to spend up to $50,000 on a consultant. Council members Steve Nawrocki, Montoya and Nicoll voted against it. Nawrocki suggested that council draft a ballot question for voters to decide in November how to deal with the city's ongoing trash problem.
The city has been studying the illegal dumping problem for years. The consultant will look at options for citywide trash service. Two trash haulers spoke against hiring a consultant during the meeting.
"It's time for us all to sit down, you with the haulers, and so you can hear some of your ideas because we do have ideas that I think will be useful in solving some of the problems that we're facing," said Jackie Pinelle of A-Affordable Disposal.
Council president Sandy Daff said hiring a consultant is an investment in the city's future.
The consultant will be paid for through a user fee collected at the landfill.