Marijuana question to be on Fort Collins ballot – The Coloradoan

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Fort Collins voters will be asked in November to allow the City Council to change local regulations for medical marijuana without seeking voter approval.(Photo: Coloradoan library)Buy Photo

Fort Collins voters will once again make a call regarding marijuana.

The City Council on Tuesday agreed to place a measure on the Nov. 7 ballot that if approved would allow the council to change the city’s regulations on medical marijuana without seeking voter approval.

City officials said the change is needed to help Fort Collins keep pace with regulatory changes at the state level. Under current city code, voters must approve changes in medical marijuana regulations.

The city’s rules stem from an initiative approved by voters in 2012 that permits medical marijuana dispensaries. That initiative overturned a 2011 voter-approved measure that shut down dispensaries.

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The state has made several changes to its regulations in recent years, including establishing new licensing categories, said Ginny Sawyer, a policy and project manager for the city.

The city has not adapted its licensing rules to match state regulations in part because of the time-consuming election requirement. Marijuana-related topics the city might consider include rules for research and testing facilities and background checks for potential owners, Sawyer said.

Marijuana facilities in Fort Collins require state and local licenses. Taking away the requirement of voter approval of local regulatory changes would be more efficient than taking every issue to voters, Sawyer said.

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City officials said local marijuana businesses support the proposed change.

Kevin Duggan is a Coloradoan senior reporter covering local government. Follow him on Twitter, @coloradoan_dugg, and on Facebook at Coloradoan Kevin Duggan.

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The Fort Collins City Council on Tuesday:

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