Dolores is gearing up to allow retail marijuana sales, cultivation, product manufacturing and testing beginning in 2021.
A draft ordinance is available for review, and a public hearing and possible ordinance adoption on Nov. 23 at 6:30 p.m.
In April, voters approved retail marijuana stores, commercial cultivation, product manufacturing and testing facilities.
The proposed ordinance explains the regulations, application process, licensing and taxes based on Dolores and state laws.
The number of licenses allowed would be capped at two retail marijuana stores, two retail cultivation facilities, one retail manufacturing facility and one testing facility. The different types of marijuana businesses allowed may be co-located, and will each count toward the cap. A new license application fee is $1,000 in addition to any other state and local license fees.
If more qualified applications are submitted than the maximum number of marijuana facilities allowed, there will be a lottery to determine which applicants go forward in the process.
The licensing procedure includes a local preference for one retail marijuana center, according to the draft ordinance. If there are more than one qualified local applicants for that spot, it will be determined by lottery.
Then, if required, the additional license applicants will also be chosen through a lottery system, which may include a mix of local and nonlocal qualified applicants.
To qualify for the local preference, the applicant must have been a resident of Dolores for at least one year, or if a business entity, at least 50% of its owners have been Dolores residents for at least one year.
If a retail applicant also applies for a cultivation license, they must agree that at least 70% of the product cultivated will be supplied to its own retail marijuana center.
Retail marijuana businesses are only allowed in the Commercial Highway Zone, Commercial Business 1 Zone and Commercial Business 2 Zone. In certain cases, such as a proposed facility near homes in one of those zones, a conditional use permit may be required to mitigate potential impacts.
Marijuana businesses must be located a minimum of 1,000 feet from schools with 100 or more full-time students, 500 feet from schools with less than 100 students, 250 feet from school administration building, 250 feet from licensed child care facilities and 250 feet from playgrounds. There is no distance requirement between marijuana businesses. Locations of marijuana businesses must comply with the Dolores land use code.
No exterior signage shall use the word “marijuana”, “cannabis” or any other word, phrase or symbol commonly understood to refer to marijuana. Hours of retail stores are limited to 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. for retail marijuana stores.
The town will charge a $3 occupation tax for each sale of a marijuana product. This is in addition to state and local taxes. Sales tax revenues would go into the town general fund. Revenues from the occupation tax will be set aside into a separate account and expenditure will be determined by town trustees through resolutions. The occupation tax account will be reviewed annually by the town trustees.
After the marijuana ordinance is approved, the town will begin accepting applications for retail marijuana licenses beginning Jan. 4. The applications will be reviewed and approved by the Local Licensing Authority made up of the town Board of Trustees. They may delegate their authority, through a resolution, to an individual or group.
The public hearing for the marijuana ordinance will be held online, and there will be opportunity for public comment. To find the link to log on, visit the town of Dolores website.