A grow light shines through the leaves of a cannabis plant at a grow facility in Denver.

Jefferson County’s marijuana moratorium up for vote Dec. 9

GOLDEN — The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners will soon vote on extending a moratorium on marijuana businesses in unincorporated Jeffco, buying the board more time to study the issue.

At a Tuesday meeting, the board introduced a first reading of a resolution that would extend the temporary ban on marijuana businesses in unincorporated Jefferson County to Jan. 1, 2016. The current moratorium expires on Feb. 1, 2015. The board will hold a second reading with public comment at its Dec. 9 meeting prior to a vote that day.

At a staff briefing after the meeting, Jefferson County Development and Transportation director Jeanie Rossillon, who has been leading county staff on the issue, said Jan. 1, 2016 is not a “magic date,” but would give staff more time to gather information and explore options for the commissioners.

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Commissioner Don Rosier said an extension of the moratorium would also allow them to observe what changes are made at the state level before making a decision.

“There will be a ton of changes,” he said during the briefing.

In September, a board-appointed task force recommended in a 134-page report that the county ban marijuana businesses in unincorporated areas.

The task force found that marijuana establishments are “not consistent with the safety, health and welfare of the citizens of Jefferson County.”

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Members were divided, with several strongly urging the commissioners to allow the businesses.

In Lakewood, residents voted down a ballot measure Nov. 4 that would have allowed retail marijuana stores in the Jefferson County city.

Joe Vaccarelli: 303-954-2396, jvaccarelli@denverpost.com or twitter.com/joe_vacc

This story was first published on DenverPost.com