General manager Ryan Cook displays marijuana flower on sale at The Clinic retail shop in Denver on Feb. 13, 2014. (Hyoung Chang, Denver Post file)

Update: Vail ban on pot stores, grows gets prelim OK

(UPDATED July 22, 2015, 8:25 a.m.)

VAIL — There aren’t any retail marijuana stores here now, and there won’t be any retail for the foreseeable future. The Vail Town Council on Tuesday voted 6-1 to give first-reading approval of a ban on retail marijuana stores, as well as cultivation facilities.

The ban, which will face a final-approval vote as soon as Aug. 4, replaces a temporary moratorium the town imposed in 2014. After a handful of extensions, council member Dave Chapin proposed a permanent ban at the council’s July 7 meeting.

In this case, though, “permanent” is a relative term. Chapin said Tuesday the council could overturn the current ordinance almost as soon as it’s passed. And Vail voters in November will elect at least two and as many as four new council members.

Council member Greg Moffet cast the lone dissenting vote. Moffet said he’s not opposed to the ban as such, but he believed that current town code is sufficient to keep retail shops from opening. Moffet said town zoning currently doesn’t allow retail marijuana shops, and a specific ban wasn’t needed.

Previous reporting below:

The temporary ban on recreational marijuana sales in Vail could be permanent in a matter of weeks.

Just two weeks after the Vail Town Council passed yet another extension of a 2014 moratorium banning marijuana businesses, the council Tuesday night will consider the first reading of a permanent ban. That ban could be overturned by a future town council.

While 2012’s Amendment 64 legalized recreational use and sale of marijuana, the amendment gives towns and counties the ability to impose bans on retail operations. Several towns and counties have taken that step. Locally, retail operations are allowed in unincorporated Eagle County and the town of Eagle. Sales are allowed in Red Cliff, but there have been no applications there.

On the other hand, the amendment passed by significant margins throughout the state. Eagle County voters passed Amendment 64 with roughly 66 percent of the vote.

Vail Town Council member Margaret Rogers has asked for information about how marijuana sales are working in other resort communities. At this point, Vail is the only major ski-resort town in the state that bans retail operations.

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