MONTROSE – A first reading of an ordinance prohibiting the commercial cultivation, manufacture, sale and testing of retail recreational marijuana was unanimously passed by the Montrose Board of County Commissioners on Monday.
“This is in accordance with Amendment 64, which authorizes local [governments] to enact ordinances to basically allow or regulate the commercial retail market,” County Attorney Robert Hill said. “This ordinance prohibits commercial recreational marijuana in unincorporated areas.”
The county prohibition of recreational marijuana follows closely on the heels of a city similar city ordinance passed by the City of Montrose earlier this month.
With other surrounding counties contemplating allowing the sale of recreational marijuana, Commissioner David White said there will be places for residents to purchase marijuana not far outside Montrose County. The prohibition within Montrose County, White said, is in line with how county residents voted on Amendment 64 last November.
Fire Ban Enacted in Montrose County
At the request of Montrose County Sheriff Rick Dunlap, the Montrose Board of County Commissioners approved a fire ban effective June 19 until Aug. 31.
The fire ban includes open fires, contained fires, fireworks and public fireworks displays in all unincorporated areas of Montrose County. The Montrose County fire ban will coincide with fire bans enacted by area federal agencies including the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, which also began on June 19.
Commissioners Ask for Six-Month Extension on Sage Grouse Decision
At the consent agenda portion of Monday’s meeting, the Montrose Board of County Commissioners authorized the signature of Chairman Ron Henderson on a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requesting more time before the agency makes a final decision on whether or not it will list the Gunnison Sage Grouse as an Endangered Species on Sept. 30.
The letter, addressed to Noreen Walsh, the regional director of Fish and Wildlife, asks for a six-month extension past the Sept. 30 deadline the agency has to make a decision. The letter is intended to be signed by 10 other counties who have entered into a memorandum of understanding to do everything possible to increase the species population.
Because Fish and Wildlife does not intend to publish an economic analysis of the possible Endangered Species listing until the end of July, the letter states that will give the public and affected local governments only three months to review them before an ultimate decision is made.
Montrose County Attorney Robert Hill Resigns
Montrose County Attorney Robert Hill has announced his resignation, effective Aug. 31.
Members of the Montrose County Board of Commissioners say they’re sorry to see Hill go; he has held the job for nine years. Hill will leave the county to pursue career opportunities elsewhere.
“He has been a valued, hard-working asset to Montrose County during his entire employ,” BOCC Chairman Ron Henderson said of Hill.
“I’ve worked with Bob ever since I have been a commissioner and have valued his input and legal advice,” said Commissioner Gary Ellis. “I’m sad to see him go. I wish him well in his future endeavors.”