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Colorado Springs City Council may vote to ban marijuana clubs

March 4, 2016 Updated: March 6, 2016 at 10:33 am
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NOTE: Scroll down for a poll in whether marijuana clubs should be banned in Colorado Springs.

The Colorado Springs City Council could ban marijuana consumption clubs Tuesday after reviewing three options during a work session Monday. 

The Planning Commission voted 6-3 in February to recommend Option 3, the flat-out ban on the clubs. That's Councilman Don Knight's preference, too, and Mayor John Suthers "does not object" to the ban. 

The clubs give members a place to use marijuana, which cannot be legally ingested in public.

But the clubs also exchange pot for dues, membership fees or donations, though Colorado Springs banned the sale of recreational marijuana when Amendment 64 legalized recreational pot in 2012.

The City Council's marijuana task force held its final scheduled Friday to finalize its recommendations to the council. The council is to decide Tuesday whether to let the clubs continue operating or ban them with a five-year phase-out for legally existing clubs.

Under Options 1 and 2, those clubs operating before Sept. 22, 2015, would have to apply for non-transferable, one-year licenses by 5 p.m. April 29.

But the cannabis clubs would be banned from possessing marijuana and from supplying it to their customers in any way, a change likely to make the businesses unsustainable.

An operator would have to submit fingerprints, a detailed diagram of the premises, register all managers, comply with all zoning, building, health and fire codes, and allow inspections.

They would need to be 1,000 feet from schools, preschools, homes, mental health centers and rehabilitation centers for drug addicts and alcoholics. They also would need to be in M1 or M2 industrial zones. Under Option 2, that zoning would be conditional, requiring a hearing before the Planning Commission with a possible appeal to the City Council.

Those clubs that existed legally before a six-month moratorium was imposed on Sept. 22 would be grandfathered in but would have to be licensed.

The City Council meets at 1 p.m. Monday for its work session, where public comment is not allowed, and at 1 p.m. Tuesday for public comment and official action. Both meetings are in Council Chambers at City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave.

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