Will retail marijuana come to Berthoud? Voters decide April 3
By Amber McIver-Traywick
The municipal election mail ballots that registered voters in Berthoud received recently have two additional questions for citizens to consider. The first pertains to whether or not voters want to bring retail marijuana to Berthoud.
The exact wording on the ballot is as follows: Retail Marijuana and Cannabis Products Sales — Shall the establishment and operation of retail marijuana sales by municipally licensed medical dispensaries be permitted in the Town of Berthoud, Colorado, subject to the fees and taxes heretofore approved by voters of the Town and subject to all requirements of the Colorado Retail Marijuana Code and regulations to be adopted by the Town Board of Trustees?
Town board members decided to send the issue of recreational marijuana sales within town limits earlier this year to voters for them to decide. Berthoud residents voted last November in favor of a seven percent sales tax on recreational marijuana to be used for sidewalk and street maintenance, parks and recreation, and law enforcement, despite the fact recreational sales of marijuana are not yet permitted in the town.
The topic was passionately addressed by concerned citizens and stakeholders in the town at several board meetings in recent months after a request last fall to open a third medical dispensary in Berthoud was presented to the town board and was rejected.
Sergeant Jim Anderson of the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office Berthoud Squad has been vocal in his opposition to increasing marijuana sales in Berthoud stating at a board meeting last November that, “One of the reasons we put a school resource officer in the Middle School was because of the marijuana problem that the kids have – it’s a lot more accessible.” Anderson went on to explain students at Berthoud High School with medical marijuana cards were caught selling to other students.
At a study session last October the town board heard from several presenters well informed about the sale and business side of recreational marijuana. According to Meg Sanders, who owns several retail marijuana dispensaries and grow operations in Colorado, the town at that time was on track to receive $115,000 from transaction fees collected from the sale of medical marijuana (The town collects a $3 fee on each transaction).
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