Manitou pot moratorium lifted, but no sales
The moratorium on recreational marijuana sales was officially lifted Tuesday, but the city says that no one has yet to apply for a recreational sales permit.
Manitou Springs City Administrator Jack Benson told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that there are two permits available and two businesses eligible to get one.
"The only ones who can move forward with an application right now are the ones who have active medical marijuana licenses," Benson said. "Everybody else has to wait until July."
There are two businesses in Manitou Springs with medical marijuana licenses. The first, Absolute Manitou Wellness, has an expired medical and business license, according to Benson. The owner will have to go through the process to renew those licenses before applying for a recreational sales permit. A call to the dispensary's owner was not immediately returned.
The other is an up-and-coming store in Manitou Springs. Bill Conkling owns the business Maggie's Farm and recently purchased property on Manitou Avenue near U.S. 24. Conkling runs two medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado Springs and one in Canon City. He's received his medical license for the store in Manitou and is now going through the process for a Manitou Springs business permit.
"For Maggie's Farm it's a matter of doing it right the first time and really showing the community and elected officials of Manitou Springs that we're going to have a good storefront and we're going to do it right," Conkling told KRDO NewsChannel 13.
Conkling said he wants to establish his business medically before applying for a recreational license. His goal is to open shop by April 20.
Despite the lack of sales, Benson said he hasn't heard any complaints from residents.
"I'm hearing more from the people who would prefer not to see retail marijuana in the city," Benson said.
Benson said he's received some phone calls about potential interested store owners, but nothing concrete.
"I've had a number of people call and inquire but it's always very vague and general," Benson said. "Most of them want to try to do the medical marijuana piece because it's a foot in the door."
Benson said that Absolute Manitou Wellness has never been a big source of tax income for the city. Though the city sees potential for tax revenue once retail sales begin, he said the city has not planned for any of that income in the 2014 budget.
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