The Daily Camera writes….

A philosophical debate played out Tuesday among Boulder City Council on how best to keep notoriously smelly cannabis businesses from too forcefully dominating the aromas sensed by passerby and workers in neighboring commercial spaces.

City staff had been working on business licensing regulations for the city’s nearly five dozen hemp businesses involving cultivation and extraction to ensure odor isn’t disturbing others and to ensure workplace safety. The goal was to create more parity with local oversight of the psychoactive breed of cannabis, marijuana.

But instead of allowing only three cannabis businesses total, involving either of the plant, hemp or marijuana, to be within 500 feet of each other as the city staff recommended, Councilman Aaron Brockett sent an email ahead of the meeting requesting consideration of an amendment to allow three of each type of facility in the 500-foot radius.

Brockett was absent on vacation with his family for the virtual meeting, so he did not cast a vote on the matter.

Mayor Sam Weaver and Councilwoman Mary Young said they were comfortable skipping Brockett’s proposed amendment because the city staff suggested granting grandfathered compliance to any existing business that would be in violation of the new rule that went into place for hemp businesses.

“With respect to odor, we want to encourage these types of businesses, whether they’re hemp or marijuana, to be concentrated and closer together because the more they’re spread out around town, the more residents and other businesses they’re going to impact,” Mayor Pro Tem Bob Yates said.

Council members Mark Wallach, Rachel Friend and Yates supported a motion that failed 5-3 that would have allowed three marijuana and an additional three hemp businesses within 500 feet of each other, as Brockett suggested, instead of the staff recommendation to limit it to three cannabis businesses total, of either type, within the 500-foot radius.

A motion aligned with the staff recommendation was passed by the Council. The newly seated Cannabis Licensing Advisory Board that will weigh in on local matters involving the industry was encouraged to take a look at the new ordinance for hemp businesses and offer future advice on any possible changes.

“Some of those (advisory board) members are steeped in the evolution and complexities of our cannabis code and provide the expertise about not only where hemp could align with cannabis regulations, but also where the hemp industry is unlike those in cannabis, and we would want to differentiate policies, accordingly,” Boulder Chamber Director of Public Affairs Andrea Meneghel said.

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