Native Roots dispensary is pictured on Tuesday at 19 S. Sunset St. in unincorporated Boulder County. (Lewis Geyer, Longmont Times-Call)

Another Colorado town lifts its marijuana sales ban

Longmont City Council members, on a split 5-2 vote, gave preliminary approval Tuesday night to an ordinance that would eventually allow up to four businesses to sell marijuana and marijuana products within the city limits.

The measure appears likely to be amended, however, before it gets a formal public hearing and final council vote in October, incorporating some changes to address concerns reportedly expressed recently by “stakeholders” from the marijuana industry.

Voting initial approval for the measure on Tuesday were Mayor Dennis Coombs and council members Brian Bagley, Polly Christensen, Bonnie Finley and Joan Peck. Dissenting were council members Jeff Moore and Gabe Santos.

Santos has consistently opposed lifting Longmont’s prohibitions against businesses selling either medical or recreational marijuana inside the city and said he’d also be a no vote when the ordinance comes up for a final council vote.

Moore said on Tuesday night that making it legal for such businesses to operate in Longmont should be conditional upon voters’ approval in November of a special 3 percent sales tax the council has proposed be imposed on the sales of recreational marijuana or marijuana products. Under the state’s constitution, that tax could not be applied to any medical marijuana sold in the retail shops also licensed by the city to sell recreational marijuana.

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