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Commissioners Adopt Medical Marijuana Regs

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On a divided vote, Pueblo County commissioners adopted new licensing and zoning rules this morning to allow medical marijuana businesses to operate in the county.

Commissioners Anthony Nunez and John Cordova voted for the new regulations, but not before shrinking a proposed buffer zone around medical marijuana operations from 1,000 feet to 500 feet.

A large crowd attended today's public hearing and several testified the 1,000-foot buffer was too restrictive.

Commissioner Jeff Chostner, an attorney, voted against both the code change and the new county licensing regulations. He argued that the federal government still considers medical marijuana to be an illegal drug and recently had warned state lawmakers of that.

Chostner said there is a frustrating, unresolved conflict between state law, which allows medical marijuana, and federal law. Even so, the county is bound to uphold federal law too, he argued.

"Do I think that anyone here is going to be investigated by the federal government? No," Chostner told the crowd. "But you should know you are at some legal risk."

The new county licensing regulations essentially mirror those adopted by Colorado's state government. County Attorney Gary Raso said that as a rule, any applicant who can pass the state licensing application also can qualify as a medical marijuana operator under the new county code.

However, only those operators who filed required applications with the county before July 1, 2010, will be eligible to obtain either a state or county license this year.

News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
Source: chieftain.com
Author: Peter Roper
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: The Pueblo Chieftain
Website: Commissioners adopt medical marijuana regs
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