Mancos zones out dispensary

Things are tough all over for one businessman in Mancos.

Owner of the Mancos Valley Business Center on North Willow Street in Mancos since 2004, Jim Cody said he has faithfully attempted to meet all state and federal guidelines, passed all of the necessary background checks and has spent more than $20,000 in non-refundable licensing fees to get his medical marijuana dispensary off the ground.

Partnered with the Beacon Wellness Group in Cortez, Cody hopes to open the first medical marijuana dispensary in Mancos. The town's current planning and zoning guidelines; however, don't allow for medical marijuana dispensaries.

"Because of the way the ordinance is written, it is impossible to locate, anywhere in the Town of Mancos, a medical dispensary," Cody told trustees.

Cody addressed town trustees at their bi-monthly last week seeking a possible variance in the town's setback codes. The setback guidelines stipulate a dispensary must be 1,000 feet away from a school, 500 feet from a day care center and 200 feet from a church. Cody argued that since Mancos residents voted to allow medical marijuana, the town's zoning ordinances need to be amended to meet the public's wishes.

Mayor Pro Tem Perry Lewis said that the town's zoning issues related to medical marijuana dispensaries were developed three years ago without any guidance. He suggested Cody take his request to the next planning and zoning meeting on July 17 to seek a variance in the special use permit.

"Business is business, and tax revenue is tax revenue," Lewis told Cody. "We're pro-business, and we don't want to zone out any business."

Officials instructed Town Administrator Andrea Phillips to work to expedite a possible solution with planning and zoning.

"Give us a little time, and we will definitely look at this," Lewis told Cody.