Hayden Town Council members discussed the language of a proposed ordinance to allow the town’s first retail marijuana store during their meeting June 20.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — An ordinance that would allow Hayden’s first marijuana dispensary took shape during the Hayden Town Council’s meeting June 20.
Members discussed how they would regulate a proposed shop, which, if the ordinance passes, would be located near the Yampa Valley Regional Airport.
The town has taken a cautious approach to the industry following legalization of retail marijuana in 2012. An ordinance initially banned the manufacturing, cultivation and retail selling of marijuana.
But as communities across the state reap millions in tax revenue from dispensaries and grow operations, Hayden residents have been warming up to bringing the industry into city limits.
The town loosened its restrictions in 2016 when voters approved marijuana grow operations and an excise tax on the industry.
When Rodney McGowen, the Hayden resident seeking to open the town’s first dispensary, brought the matter to the council in May, members unanimously voted to move toward amending an ordinance that still prohibits the sale of retail and medicinal marijuana.
McGowen favors the airport location because it would attract tourists flying into town, and it’s on the periphery for most Hayden residents.
“In my opinion, I don’t think the town would like to have (a dispensary) on the main street,” he said.
Mayor Tim Redmond is of a similar opinion. As council members discussed provisions for the ordinance, limiting the location of future dispensaries was a chief concern. While not finalized, the members favored establishing a 1,000-foot buffer zone around schools and parks.
“What we’re trying to do is keep it palatable for the people of Hayden,” Redmond said of the budding ordinance.
Like other council members, Redmond hopes a marijuana store would