Want to see retail marijuana back in Grand Junction?
Well, so do a lot of other people.
The nonprofit group GJCAN (for “Cannabis Access Now”) is circulating an official petition to get retail marijuana back in the City of Grand Junction. GJCAN is comprised of people who owned the former medical marijuana shops that the City shut down in 2011, as well as caregivers, agriculture suppliers, agricultural students and others who just want to see some much-needed economic growth finally come to Grand Junction.
GJCAN hired an attorney to help them draft the proposed ordinance and the group met with the City Attorney and City Clerk when formulating the ordinance to assure they were doing everything correctly. GJCAN currently has about 50 people circulating petitions city wide.
GJCAN’s primary organizer is Tanette Mucino, who became a marijuana advocate for personal reasons. Tanette is a mother of four, whose first husband got cancer and died 5 yrs ago, right at the time when the City shut down the original licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in town. The shut down happened right at point when Tanette and her husband had discovered the therapeutic properties of marijuana and after they discovered it helped reduce his suffering from cancer. Tanette and her family have long been frustrated at the loss of the medical marijuana shops. A lot of people who deal with pain on a daily basis are worried about getting addicted to prescription meds, she says, and are turning to cannabis for pain relief. But is hasn’t been easy to get cannabis in our area for a long time because the city has banned it despite its being legal throughout the state after the passage of Amendment 64.
People have had enough of that situation, though, and are organizing to try and change it.
Former Medical Marijuana Store Owners Get First Dibs
The proposed ballot initiative gives the former owners of medical marijuana stores in Grand Junction first dibs on getting their stores back. The former owners have the first 30 days after the ordinance goes into effect to reapply to get their licenses back. After 30 days, licensing would be open to all Mesa County residents who have lived here at least one year. The former medical MJ store owners would not initially be able to apply to sell recreational marijuana. They would have to wait the 30 days along with everyone else before applying to sell recreational pot. The ordinance establishes license fees, and the fees will go toward hiring more people to help the City manage the new industry and assure regulations are followed. Tanette says it is the intent of the ordinance to make the City’s management of the program self-funding.
If the voters approve the cannabis ordinance, it would go into effect fairly quickly, within a month after the voters approve it.
Petitioners need 2,254 valid signatures from Grand Junction residents who are registered to vote. GJCAN’s goal is to get double that number, around 5,000 signatures, so they are assured of having enough valid signatures. By last week they had already gathered about 1,000 signatures and there are 2 weeks left to complete the signature-gathering phase.
You can read the entire text of the petition here (pdf).
Want to sign the petition? Here’s where it is available:
— The petition is available to sign during all business hours at Natural Order Supply in Cottonwood Mall, 2493 US Highway 6, Unit #5, Grand Junction, CO 81505, phone: (970) 242-3648.
— Mesa Theater has the petition available at their box office, 538 Main St, Grand Junction, CO 81501, phone (970) 773-1775. 15 minute parking is available in the pullouts near the theater on Main Street.
— The petition is available during all business hours at Charlie Dwellington’s Pub at the corner of First and Main Streets (103 N First Street, Grand Junction, CO 81501), phone 970-241-4010. Charlie’s opens at 3:00 p.m. and stays open until 2:00 a.m. every night of the week, and there is plenty of on-street parking right next to the establishment.
— The petition is available to sign during all business hours at Seeds of Revolution, in the strip mall at 241 Grand Ave., #5, by Rem’s Tobacco and Lois’s Place, Phone (970) 201-8752
— The petition is available during all business hours at Discontent, the lifestyle store located at First Street and North Avenue in Grand Junction, (970) 549-4724. Discontent is open until 9:00 p.m., and has plenty of parking right in front.
— Triple Play Records on Main Street by Mesa Theater has the petition also, but the hours of its availability are less certain than the other establishment. If you’re down there, stop by Triple Play and ask for Matt.
GJCAN is having a big fundraiser on November 4th at Mesa Theater with several bands, a give-away and a suggested donation of $5.00 admission, from 7 p.m. to close
If you want to volunteer or donate to GJCAN, go to their website’s donation page.
Want to donate by snailmail? Make a check out to GJCAN and mail it in care of Tanette Mucino to
P.O. Box 2473
Grand Junction, CO 81502
Please include your current contact information with the check and include your name and address. For amounts over $200, please include your occupation and employer.