CITY OF OURAY: Council weighs in on pot ballot questions

By Sheridan Block
sheridan@ouraynews.com

As decided by city council last year, voters in November will determine whether or not retail and other commercial pot businesses have any place in Ouray. However, council and city staff still have much work to be done before the election, including drafting appropriate ballot language for the issues.

During Monday night’s regular meeting, city council reviewed two draft resolutions with a total of three ballot questions regarding commercial marijuana. The first resolution has two questions: should the city allow retail sales of marijuana, and should the city allow manufacturing, growing and testing operations for marijuana.
Council felt that both questions were straightforward and clear enough for voters to make their decision. A minor change of the word “retail” to “commercial” was made in the second question to further distinguish it from the first, to avoid any possible confusion.
The second resolution presented ballot language for a possible sales tax rate, should voters approve retail marijuana sales within the city. According to the staff report, the question is more complicated because of TABOR requirements, due to the question being tax-related.
If citizens vote to allow retail sales, there will be an automatic three percent sales tax requirement, required of all retail businesses in Ouray. The language of the resolution would allow the city to put a higher amount of sales tax on marijuana products. Council will need to approve a proposed sales tax amount, should they decide to include the question on the ballot.
As proposed, the ballot question also...

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