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Commissioners Lift Moratorium on Medical Pot Licensing

The Fremont County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution amending licensing regulations for medical marijuana businesses in unincorporated Fremont County at their October 25th regular meeting.   The action brought an early end to the two year moratorium on licensing any new businesses.   The moratorium was originally set to expire in April, 2017.

Among the changes in the amended regulations the Board of Commissioners want to encourage any new medical marijuana (MMJ) cultivation businesses to find more rural areas of the county for their operations.    The regulations state that the most desirable sites will be those that are located on a minimum of ten acres and at least 1,000 feet away from any neighboring residence.    During a licensing hearing the Board of Commissioners will also consider nearby incompatible land uses close to MMJ cultivation sites, the vicinity in relation to other licensees, and the proposed size of the operation including marijuana plant counts.

In an effort to provide reasonable yet not burdensome enforcement standards for county code enforcement officers the amended regulations provide that investigations of complaints will be initiated if the complaint comes from a party residing or working within a quarter mile distance of the licensed facility.   Complaints from persons not residing or working within ¼ mile of the facility will be reviewed on a case by case basis.   County Planning Director Matt Koch said the changes should really help his officers with enforcement issues.

It was noted during the meeting that the Board of Commissioners took a lot of heat particularly through social media that Fremont County Cannabis (FCC) had been assured the moratorium would be ending so they could relocate their medical marijuana cultivation operation to Fremont County.   FCC owner Dana Soux apologized to the Board for the harsh criticism after District 2 Commissioner Debbie Bell complained that the county was somehow being blamed during the moratorium over the fact that FCC lost their lease for their cultivation property in Chaffee County.

As the Board voted unanimously to adopt the amended MMJ business licensing regulations, Commission Chairman Ed Norden said the regulations will give commissioners a certain amount of discernment in how to deal with new applications, where the grows are located, and how they impact their neighbors.

The October 25th meeting also saw the Board of Commissioners put into place Stage 1 fire restrictions at the request of Sheriff Jim Beicker.   After extremely dry conditions over September and October and with recent wildfires in Custer and Pueblo Counties Sheriff Beicker said until we receive some significant moisture there needs to be restrictions on all open burning in unincorporated Fremont County.   A complete list of Stage 1 fire restrictions can be accessed on the county’s home web page at

In other business at the October 25th meeting the commissioners:

  • Approved a major modification to a Conditional Use Permit for KrauthCo which operates a landscaping quarry for large stone along Red Canyon Road north of Cañon City.   The amended permit allows KrauthCo to expand its operations on a 115 acre site;
  • Adopted a proclamation declaring the month of October as Domestic Violence Prevention Month;
  • Approved change orders totaling $1,289 for the kitchen and laundry renovation at the Fremont County Jail;
  • Approved a transfer of ownership for Play Dirty ATV Tours’ Special Review Use permit from Jackie Tripp to William Scrimshaw and David Pruyne.   Play Dirty ATV operates from a site along US Highway 50 west of Texas Creek;
  • Approved the appointment of Lisa Studts to a vacancy on the Fremont County Heritage Commission.   Studts is the curator of the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center.