(Anya Semenoff, Denver Post file)

Larkspur votes no on recreational marijuana measures

The prospect of a tax refund windfall was not enough to get Larkspur voters to approve recreational marijuana sales in that town on Tuesday.

Voters also elected two incumbents and a challenger in an election that centered on the town’s new well.

Three marijuana-related measures were rejected in the town of more than 200. Ballot Measure One, to approve recreational marijuana sales, growth and maufacturing in the town, failed 73-26; Ballot Measure Two, to adopt regulations for the industry, failed 73-25; and Ballot Measure Three, to impose a 5 percent excise tax, failed 75-23.

The top three vote getters were elected to the town council: incumbent Sandy McKeown, with 78 votes; incumbent Matias Cumsille, with 69 votes, and challenger Jeremiah Holmes, with 40 votes.

Challenger Heather Sanchez only received 34 votes.

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The pot measures failed a few years after a measure to allow medical marijuana in the town was rejected. Two years ago, Douglas County residents overwhelmingly voted against Amendment 64, the state statute that makes possession of up to one ounce of marijuana legal and allows for recreational marijuana shops and manufacturing and grow operations.

Cumsille said he was running to help secure the town’s third well, scheduled to begin construction this year, saying the existing two wells could fail at any minute.

McKeown said she wanted to help the town be more conservative in its spending, especially while securing the new well.

Holmes was also concerned about the new well and making sure the town boosted its parks and recreation amenities.

Previously, the Larkspur Town Council had established a moratorium on marijuana shops until next year. This was challenged with a petition referendum by Larkspur resident Michelle Burhenn, with the help of Cannabis Patient Alliance activist James McVaney, who last year helped overturn a ban on recreational marijuana in Idaho Springs.

The way the pot measures were written would have allowed for the first $45,000 to go to the town and the rest to be refunded to the about 150 registered Larkspur voters through a Taxpayers Bill of Rights refund.

McVaney put up fliers around town telling voters they could get up to $24,000 each year from the town’s possible three shops through the TABOR refund.

Clayton Woullard: 303-954-2953, cwoullard@denverpost.com or twitter.com/yhclayton

This story was first published on DenverPost.com