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Fort Collins Eyes Eliminating Voter Approval for Cannabis Changes

Published on August 14, 2017 · Last updated July 28, 2020
Fort Collins, CO, United States - September 11, 2016: Downtown of Fort Collins, Colorado at late summer dawn - aerial view with wide angle distortion and Rocky Mountains in background.

The Fort Collins City Council is scheduled on Tuesday to consider placing a measure on November’s ballot asking voters to give up their right to weigh in on changes to the city’s cannabis regulations.

Under a current Fort Collins city ordinance, voter approval is required to adopt changes to local cannabis regulations. Officials and industry members say that extra step has made it difficult for the city to keep up with the state’s changing cannabis regulations.

The addition of the proposed cannabis measure to the Nov. 7, ballot would mark the first time in five years that cannabis was on the ballot for Fort Collins voters.

A city memo indicates members of Fort Collins’ cannabis industry support the proposed change, the Coloradoan reports. Colorado continues to update its marijuana regulations and Fort Collins is unable to adapt to those changes without a vote, the memo says, adding that the measure would only those changes that reflect changes in state law.

“Original drafters of the citizen-initiated ordinance support updating the Code in order to stay current with applicable state laws, rules and regulations, and wanted to ensure that the referred ballot would not allow Code changes beyond the scope of staying current with state law. The proposed amendment to be put to the voters addresses both the needs of the City while protecting the original intent of the citizen-initiated ordinance,” the industry memo says.

Fort Collins is currently the only jurisdiction in Colorado that operates under voter-approved cannabis licensing rules, according to the Colorado Municipal League.

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Gage Peake
Gage Peake
Gage Peake is a former staff writer for Leafly, where he specialized in data journalism, sports, and breaking news coverage. He's a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
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