City Rifle CO Marijuana sign code

RIFLE CITY ORDINANCE DESIGNED TO REGULATE MEDICAL MARIJUANA An ordinance with guidelines to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits was unanimously passed by Rifle City Council members at the regular Nov. 18 city council meeting. The ordinance puts restrictions on where medical marijuana can be sold and the hours of operation, but eliminates a previous provision prohibiting a picture of a marijuana leaf on a dispensary sign. However, it is still required that any sign with the word "marijuana," "cannabis" or any other word or phrase commonly understood to refer to marijuana be prefaced by the word "medical" in accordance with the Colorado law that was approved by voters in 2000. Council members listened to some public comments before voting on the ordinance, with one member absent. Assistant City Attorney Jim Neu was the one who recommended taking out the restriction on placing images of a marijuana plant on signs. "The reason for taking it out was because he wasn't sure it would stand the test of a legal challenge," said Mayor Keith Lambert. When polled, the council was split 3-3 on whether or not the issue should be dealt with in the city's sign code, but decided against it. "We decided it wasn't worth the time and expense to deal with it in the sign code," Lambert said. The city currently has three operating medical marijuana dispensaries, with a fourth one expected to open. The ordinance requires that dispensaries be limited to the downtown area and be at least 500 feet apart. Other requirements in the ordinance require operators of a medical marijuana dispensary to be fingerprinted and undergo a background check. Those receiving medical marijuana must be licensed through the state. The drug is used to treat those suffering diseases such as cancer, AIDS and glaucoma. It is available in edible, smokable and ointment forms and must be prescribed by a physician. Original Document