Jul 9, 2014 8:49 PM by Andy Koen
PUEBLO - The City of Pueblo is already cashing in on retail marijuana growers even before they've planted their first seeds. Roughly $30,000 has flown into city coffers this month just for zoning applications.
A total of three business owners have together applied for six licenses to grow marijuana, create infused products or test their bud.
The first stop for aspiring marijuana business owners is the zoning and planning office where they must fill out those applications and write hefty checks.
"For grows and infusion it's $5,000 each and for research facilities is $2,500," explained city planner Kelly Grisham.
That fee schedule is unique to the marijauna trade in Pueblo because of the increased amount of work planners must review do before approving marijuana zoning applications.
"We make sure the building is in compliance with landscaping and architecture and then we also check to make sure that they're not within 1000 feet of any schools," Grisham explained.
Currently, no pot can be sold within city limits due to an extended moratorium. City Council may ask Pueblo voters in November whether they want to tax marijuana sales in similar manner to Pueblo County.
The existing moratorium on marijuana sales expires at the end of the year. Council will need to introduce a draft ballot question by their July 28th meeting in order to make the November ballot.
As for the trio of aspiring pot growers, Grisham says they and future applicants will still need to apply for licenses from the city once a new board is formed.
Growers must also have their state licenses secured in addition to their zoning before taking that step. The city hopes to appoint members to the marijuana licensing board within the next 90 days.