A timeline of WP’s proposed pot shop
November 3, 2016
The proposed dispensary in Winter Park has caught the attention of many citizens and businesses. The case is about the be presented to a judge for the first time. This is a timeline of the exchanges leading up to the hearing on Nov. 10.
The Town of Winter Park drafted an official letter of objection to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) regarding a proposed retail marijuana dispensary in Winter Park. Serene Wellness, who operates dispensaries in Fraser and Empire sought a third location in an unincorporated section of Winter Park.
BOCC held a public hearing. The application proposal faced strong opposition from residents, second-home owners, and business owners in the Winter Park area. There were about 40 people in attendance at the meeting.
Judge Mary Hoak signed a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on Monday, Aug. 15. The TRO was requested by Winter Park and was directed at the BOCC and prevented the BOCC from holding additional Public Hearings related to the dispensary.
The restraining order also prevented the BOCC from issuing the actual retail marijuana store license to Serene Wellness as described in the Verified Complaint.
On August 16, The BOCC approved the license in a 2-1 vote. Commissioners Linke and Manguso moved to approve the license while Commissioner Tollett voted against approving it.
Winter Park’s second restraining order is denied, and the town sought a priliminary injunction.
At the October 4 Winter Park Town Council meeting, Nelson said he had received a response from County Attorney Alan Hassler along with two motions to dismiss the complaint.
Following the lawsuit with Winter Park, BOCC discussed intent to introduce an ordinance imposing a temporary moratorium on marijuana licenses. At their October 25 meeting, the BOCC passed a motion to move forward with the process of imposing the moratorium.
Hassler said the notice would be published in the Middle Park Times on Thursday, November 3. The state of Colorado marijuana regulations require 30 days after the notice before the ordinance can be voted upon. The BOCC meeting on Tuesday, December 6 will be the next meeting following the 30-day waiting period, and the commissioners said that is when they will vote on the ordinance. The ordinance would last until January 1, 2018.
Commissioner Merrit Linke suggested the moratorium, and all commissioners said they supported it. The public meeting included the commissioners’ discussion among themselves.
Linke said he believes this is the right time for Grand County to impose a moratorium following the lawsuit they are involved in with the Town of Winter Park regarding the Serene Wellness retail dispensary’s license approval.
The Commissioners pointed out there are currently no pending marijuana license applications in the county, but that if one comes through, before the adoption of the moratorium, it will have to be considered by the county because the state approved it. Any license that has already been approved will not change if the moratorium passes.
Hassler said part of the injunction hearing will concern matters of who got to speak, and when, at the original Serene Wellness application hearing. Hassler also said the court had entered an order to prepare the record and he plans to meet with County Clerk and Recorder Sara Rosene to do so.
Winter Park Town Manager Drew Nelson gave an update on the case at the November 1 Winter Park Town Council meeting. Nelson said the town has scheduled the preliminary injunction hearing for Thursday, November 10 at 8:30 a.m. at the Grand County Judicial Center. A district court judge will consider the county’s motion to dismiss the case. Nelson said he received emails after 5 p.m. on November 1 about Serene Wellness’ intention to intervene in the case.
Related Story: GC seeking temporary moratorium on marijuana