Will the City of Grand Junction Have Retail Marijuana Stores In 2023?
|The City of Grand Junction continues to move closer to the opening of retail marijuana stores within the city limits.|
Approving Marijuana Retail Stores Is A Long Process
The approval of marijuana retail businesses in Grand Junction was a long time in coming, and the process of getting those stores open is a long one - but there is progress. Grand Junction city clerk Amy Phillips says it takes time.
"It is important to ensure the review and selection process is fair for all those who applied to participate in the lottery for a Cannabis license. In order to do that, we must allow enough time for our hearing officer to schedule and conduct hearings for all the applicants."
Grand Junction residents approved retail marijuana in the spring of 2021 when 58% of voters said yes to the ballot measure allowing the retail sale of marijuana in the city limits. The sale of recreational and medical marijuana is already legal in Palisade and De Beque.
21 Applications Have Been Approved So Far
The City of Grand Junction reports the clerk's office received 47 applications for marijuana licenses by the June 8 deadline. From there, the review and hearing process has been ongoing. So far, 21 applications have been approved for the randomized selection process, 13 are pending, and 3 have been denied.
Hearing Process Could Linger Into the New Year
The City says the hearings are expected to continue through December and possibly into the new year. When the hearing process is completed, there will be a randomized process to select 10 applicants that will receive a license. At that point, the applicants that are awarded a license will have up to one year to open their store.
We still don't know exactly when, but, it appears likely that Grand Junction will see the opening of its first retail marijuana stores in 2023 - and before long those marijuana tax revenue dollars will start rolling in.
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