Glenwood Springs to require fees for medical marijuana businesses

Medical marijuana businesses in operation in Glenwood Springs will have to pay a series of license and registration fees once the city’s moratorium on such businesses expires on Oct. 1. The Glenwood Springs City Council approved the fee structure at the council’s regular meeting Thursday. Earlier in the evening, a group of about a dozen area residents appealed to the council to participate in a community dialogue on the hazards of medical marijuana. They say the presence of medical marijuana businesses is making the drug more available to youth. Mike McCallum, president of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association board, and Mary Rippy, a YouthZone board member, asked the council to join with the chamber and YouthZone in convening a community effort to address the spillover of marijuana to teenagers from card-carrying patients.

Miles Rovig, a member of the Roaring Fork School Board, said the school board also wants to participate in the discussion. “We’ve been waiting to see what the impact was from the new regulations,” Rippy said. “Now is the right time to convene a community group.” Councilman Ted Edmonds, who also sits on the YouthZone board, said new information is coming out about medical marijuana circulating among youth. Although it’s not yet clear what form the community dialogue might take, Mayor Matt Steckler said the council would be willing to hear new information and talk about the issue.

He asked the community members to wait for a couple of months, however, until after the council is finished with its work of setting the city government budget for 2012. In the meantime, medical marijuana businesses in Glenwood Springs will be subject to fees once the moratorium expires in two weeks. Businesses will have to pay a $1,000 nonrefundable application fee. If approved, the license fee is another $1,000, along with a $100 fee for the manager’s registration, and fees of $20 per employee for fingerprints and $100 per person for background checks. The annual license renewal fee is $850.

The fees apply to all three types of medical marijuana businesses: dispensaries, manufacturers of infused products, and growing operations. So if a business wanted to engage in, for example, dispensing and manufacturing infused products, it would have to pay a $2,000 application fee, a $2,000 license fee, and an annual renewal fee of $1,700. City Clerk Robin Unsworth said the fee structure is comparable to the fees assessed the various stores and establishments that sell alcohol. The city’s liquor license fee structure has more variables, but are generally lower than the new fees set for medical marijuana businesses. An application fee is $625, plus a fee of $3.75 to $75 depending on the type of establishment. Annual liquor license renewal fees range from $78.50 to $150.

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