ENGLEWOOD — The Englewood City Council on Monday night stamped final approval on a measure that caps the number of marijuana businesses in the city at those already licensed to operate there.
Englewood is home to three medical marijuana dispensaries, with a fourth that has received city licensing approval but has not yet opened, according to city officials.
Following a licensing hearing earlier this year during which a dispensary saw its license approved despite vigorous protests from residents of a nearby neighborhood, the City Council took a look at capping all new licenses for such business.
The council gave its initial approval for the cap on April 20 — a day of marijuana celebration for some in — and finalized its vote Monday.
“This is not an anti-marijuana discussion. It’s about zoning and how much is too much,” Councilman Rick Gillit said Monday before voting as part of the 6-1 majority that approved the measure. “I know lots of people who benefit from it, but some people don’t want it in their backyard.”
Not in our town: More Colorado communities — from Palmer Lake, Brush and Granby to Breckenridge, Wheat Ridge and Pueblo — are pushing back against pot shops, which at latest count number more than 330.
Councilman Joe Jefferson cast the lone “no” vote.
Englewood upheld a ban on recreational marijuana businesses in late 2013, despite a majority of local voters supporting the availability of legal weed in the city. Jefferson cited that decision in his opposition to the cap.
“I’m really pro-voter intent here,” he said. “I think it should be up to the market to say how many of what business we need. I think this is a step backwards in our policy.”
Englewood resident Emmett Reistroffer, whose grandmother used medical marijuana while being treated for cancer, came before the council Monday specifically to oppose the cap.
“We need regulated dispensaries in every community because cancer and many of these other debilitating conditions exist in every community,” Reistroffer said in an e-mail before the meeting. “Englewood is no exception.”
Joe Rubino: 303-954-2953, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/RubinoJC