Cannabis Business Licensing and Regulations
Ballot questions 2A and 2B passed regarding cannabis taxes and businesses. View election results here.
This page is the official source for information regarding cannabis business licensing and will be updated as new information becomes available. Interested persons will be directed to this page to receive updates.
City Council Workshop Summary
The Council has discussed cannabis businesses at several meetings and workshops prior to, and since, the municipal election. In those discussions, Council has clarified that first consideration should be given to establishing cannabis retail business (i.e. stores or dispensaries) regulations with other types of cannabis business to be considered later. Council also directed staff to solicit public input on questions related to the regulation of stores.
City staff facilitated a public survey in May and June. The survey and response to it were designed to support the Council in determining the most appropriate response to a range of key policy decisions. The public outreach process included seven staff listening sessions and a Council listening session.
Following public comment and numerous City Council workshop, council direction provided to date includes:
- Establish zoning regulations for cannabis stores that reflect the zoning of general retail sales under the existing Land Use and Development Code. Zones where general retail sales are currently permitted are the C-1 (Light Commercial), C-2 (General Commercial), B-1 (Neighborhood Business), B-2 (Downtown Business), M-U (Mixed Use), MXG-3 (Mixed-Use General), and MXOC (Mixed Use Opportunity Corridor) districts. In addition, consider the preference of the Downtown Development Authority to develop additional restrictions for Main Street between 1st Street and 8th Street, including the prohibition of cannabis stores on the ground floor of buildings. And consider the preference of the Horizon Drive Business Improvement District (BID) to limit the number of stores within the BID to two (2) stores.
- Establish regulations to include buffering from: Schools including Colorado Mesa University (CMU) and Western Colorado Community College (WCCC) (1000 feet); Parks and Park Land (500 feet); and Rehabilitation Facilities (500 feet).
- Amend the Municipal Tax Code to set a 6% special cannabis sales and use tax rate.
- Numerically cap the number of stores to ten (10) stores.
- Create a weighted lottery system for selecting operators that includes both sufficiency and merit-based criteria.
For more details, full Council workshop packets are available here.
Upcoming Workshops/Public Meetings/Hearings
Staff continues to work with the City’s appointed and elected officials to develop the next steps regarding cannabis licensing and permitting of cannabis-related businesses. Any consideration for the adoption of local regulations will be heard at a public hearing(s). Upon scheduling, meeting dates will be listed below:
- November 1, 2021 | City Council Workshop (City Hall Auditorium, 250 N 5th Street) | 5:30 p.m. Public comment will be accepted
Cannabis Business Licensing
Cannabis businesses (except for testing facilities) remain prohibited land-uses under the City’s Municipal Code.
No licenses or license applications have been made available to potential cannabis business owners by the passage of this legislation. Further action by City Council would be required to license cannabis businesses. The official State web portal for cannabis regulations in Colorado can be accessed here.
Use of Cannabis Funds
The passage of 2A and 2B constitutes a new funding source to support enforcement and implementation related to the new cannabis-related businesses that will be coming to the community. Revenue from retail cannabis is also dedicated to build, operate and maintain the highest priorities in the Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PROS) Master Plan, which was adopted by City Council on January 6, 2021. A summary of the plan, as well as the full plan, can be found here.
The PROS plan, driven by community engagement, lays out over $157 million in projects and priorities for the next 8 to 10 years. Since this new revenue stream will take many months to establish, funds for the PROS projects will not be available for several months. The City will follow the regular budgetary process for considering capital projects city-wide, including parks and recreation. Priorities in the PROS plan will be folded into the 2022 budgeting process, as well as subsequent annual budgets, and the new funding source will enable deeper and more rapid progress towards those priorities.
- What is the timeline for the City Council to consider cannabis business licensing?
- Where will cannabis businesses be allowed to operate?
- I am a potential cannabis business owner. How can I apply for a license to operate in Grand Junction?
- Can I improve my chances of securing a license for my cannabis business by working with the City before licenses applications are opened?
- How can I share my perspectives with City Council regarding how cannabis businesses should be regulated in Grand Junction?
- Where can I find information about cannabis and public health?
- Do measures 2A and 2B allow the City to regulate medical marijuana businesses or retail (recreational) marijuana businesses?
- Do measures 2A and 2B affect the operations of hemp businesses and CBD businesses?
- I previously operated or owned a medical marijuana business in the City of Grand Junction. Will new licenses be granted to former operators first?
- What role will local law enforcement play in the regulation of retail cannabis in our community?