(Craig F. Walker, Denver Post file)

Adams County pot license lottery has 60 applicants so far; 2 weeks to go

Adams County has received 60 applications to open a marijuana business in its unincorporated areas since it began accepting candidates Jan. 2.

The county is holding an open lottery system until Jan. 22 to select 10 applicants to proceed to the state licensing process.

The lottery system is open to anyone. Applicants don’t need prior experience in the industry, and they don’t need to live in Adams County to be considered in the drawing, which will happen Jan. 27.

An application is available on the Adams County website. Applicants must turn it in in person by 4 p.m. Jan. 22 at the planning department on the first floor of the Adams County Government Center at 4430 S. Adams County Parkway in Brighton.

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The 10 facilities will include three retail stores, three grow facilities, three infused-product manufacturing facilities and one testing facility.

The three-member Board of County Commissioners opted to let a 16-month ban on retail marijuana operations in unincorporated parts of the county expire Dec. 31. On Jan. 13, two new board members for Adams County Districts 4 and 5 — Jan Pawlowski and Steve O’Dorisio — will be sworn in and allowed to weigh in on the new regulations.

So far, the county has 35 applications for store owners, 10 applications for cultivation facility operators, 13 applications for marijuana product manufacturers and two applications for testing facility operators.

Medical marijuana is still illegal in unincorporated parts of the county.

The 10 selected applicants have six months after the drawing to get a state license, building permit and change-of-use permit for their business. If a lottery winner doesn’t have all of that within six months, the county will tap the next name that was pulled from the lottery, and that person would begin the same process to open.

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Both the cap of 10 businesses and the lottery system will be in effect only through 2015. After that, the county may consider more stores and facilities as long as there is enough space for them to abide by the setback rules that the Board of County Commissioners adopted Dec. 16.

Those distance parameters include a 1,000-foot retail store buffer from schools, daycare centers, playgrounds, and public housing facilities, and a 50-foot boundary from residential property. Manufacturing facilities for marijuana-infused products must stay 1,500 feet away from of any residential area.

All retail stores also have to be 750 feet away from each other.

Megan Mitchell: 303-954-2650, mmitchell@denverpost.com or twitter.com/Mmitchelldp

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