Marijuana is dried and trimmed at a Denver warehouse. (John Leyba, Denver Post file)

Jeffco commissioners extend pot moratorium to Jan. 1, 2016

GOLDEN — The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to extend the county’s moratorium on marijuana businesses until Jan. 1, 2016, to allow staff more time to collect data and explore options.

The commissioners discussed extending the moratorium to July 2016 or into early 2017 before ultimately deciding to keep the original date discussed at a previous staff hearing. The moratorium was passed in July 2013 after the passage of Amendment 64 in November 2012.

Ramey Johnson, Lakewood city councilwoman and chair of the Jeffco task force on marijuana, also spoke and called pot a volatile, emotional, political and economic issue.

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The task force recommended the commissioners ban marijuana businesses in unincorporated Jeffco.

Ronn Nixon, a pro-marijuana member of the task force, praised the commissioners for taking the time necessary to further study the issue.

“As a marijuana advocate, moratoriums are against my nature, but I commend this action,” he said.

The commissioners settled on Jan. 1, 2016 with the knowledge they could again push the date back or choose to move forward with a ruling at any time prior to that.

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Commissioner Faye Griffin, who voted on the issue for the last time before she leaves office in January to take the post of clerk and recorder, said she would vote for a ban but recognized that a future board could easily overturn this board’s decision.

“Once you close the door, then you have to grandfather in certain issues and people,” Griffin said. “It makes it more difficult.”

Joe Vaccarelli: 303-954-2396, or

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