Board of County Commissioners Public Hearing – July 29, 2021
On July 29, 2021, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) held a Public Hearing on Docket DC-20-0001: Text Amendments to Article 4 (Zoning) and any companion changes to the Land Use Code related to marijuana to clarify existing code language and align the Code with State statutes. After a presentation from staff, public testimony, and deliberation, the BOCC voted (2-0) to approve Docket DC-20-0001. The approved changes will apply only to unincorporated areas of Boulder County, not in municipalities (cities or towns) in Boulder County.
Planning Commission Public Hearing – June 16, 2021
On June 16, 2021, the Boulder County Planning Commission held a Public Hearing on Docket DC-20-0001 to review proposed draft Text Amendments to Boulder County Land Use Code Article 4 (Zoning) and any companion changes to the Code related to marijuana to clarify existing Code language and align the Code with State statutes.
After a presentation from staff, public testimony, and deliberation, the Planning Commission voted (7-0) to recommend that the Board of County Commissioners approve Docket DC-20-0001: Text Amendments to Marijuana Regulations with the inclusion of suggested changes discussed during the meeting. Suggested changes included adding a definition for Marijuana Store, adding the word “regulations” after “Marijuana Establishments” under 4-515.B.5.c of the proposed text amendments , specifying that marijuana extraction is allowed as a Light and General Industrial use versus other types of extraction, and specifying what qualifies as an ancillary educational facility.
Since the legalization of medical marijuana in Colorado in 2000, and later recreational marijuana in 2012, the marijuana industry has experienced substantial growth. New legislation is regularly introduced at the state level to keep up with the evolving industry, and in response, the County has aimed to ensure local regulations are up to date and regulated in a manner that serves both the industry and the general community.
Boulder County enacted its first set of medical marijuana regulations in the Land Use Code in 2010. In a 2014 update to the Boulder County Land Use Code (the “Code”), recreational marijuana was recognized. Under this update, medical and recreational marijuana became a combined use under Marijuana Establishments. In 2017, additional updates were made to address the cultivation and processing of marijuana as a Residential Accessory Use in Boulder County.
Colorado’s state statutes related to marijuana establishments were updated in 2017, and staff used this as an opportunity to review the County’s alignment with the updated state regulations, clarify existing language in the Land Use Code, and engage with the marijuana industry to discuss potential issues to be addressed.
On January 28, 2020, the Board of County Commissioners authorized staff to pursue text amendments to Articles 4 (Zoning) and 18 (Definitions) of the Land Use Code and to make any other revisions necessary to integrate changes related to marijuana establishments.
Staff researched changes in the Land Use Code related to the following topics:
Making explicit that Eating and Drinking Places are not permitted to be marijuana hospitality establishments as marijuana hospitality establishments are not a permitted use in the Land Use Code.
Defining treatment facilities to allow for proper implementation of the required buffer between marijuana establishments and drug and alcohol treatment facilities.
Clarifying that marijuana warehouses are a permitted use and require a marijuana license.
Clarifying that setbacks between marijuana facilities and educational properties include ancillary educational properties.
Making explicit which use category cannabinoid extraction is considered.
Updating references within the Land Use Code to updated state statutes.
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