Where Mesa County stands in legalizing marijuana cultivation

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – Mesa County is providing information on where things stand in the process of legalizing marijuana cultivation. Voters approved a ballot measure allowing cannabis growth in unincorporated parts of Mesa Co. in the November 2, 2021 coordinated election.

Wacey Clarke, owner of Colorado Hemp Solutions in Grand Junction, is happy to see this development in the county. He says this change allows for further growth in the region’s economy. According to him, “Here in Mesa County we have the opportunity to have a relatively cheap workforce when compared to the rest of Colorado. We have relatively cheap input costs in utilities and land. I would expect that these measures would equate to a great amount of economic good for Mesa County.”

Greg Moberg, Community Development Director for Mesa Co., explained that the county is still in the early stages of figuring out the rules and regulations of marijuana cultivation.

Moberg shared that, “A lot of people assume that since the ballot initiative passed, then cultivation is allowed in the county. The problem is the current land-use code does not allow any marijuana, whether it’s sales, cultivation, anything, and so we have to go through the process of amending the code.”

Clarke is encouraging the county to learn from other localities that have gone through this process.

“I think there’s experience within the county staff and I look forward to seeing how they learn from lessons that they’ve seen from throughout the marijuana industry in Colorado and elsewhere,” said Clarke.

Ballot Measure 1C, which is paving the way for cannabis growth in the county, passed with 53 percent support.

Another related ballot measure that passed was 1A, which allows the county to implement a five percent excise tax on marijuana sales. The county expects tax revenue to increase by $752,000 annually from that tax in the first full fiscal year of its implementation.

According to Moberg, the county will be working with stakeholders and the public to navigate this process.

For the full text of Ballot Measures 1A and 1C, click here.

Copyright 2021 KKCO. All rights reserved.

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