Loveland City Council splits retail marijuana ballot measure in two

LOVELAND  — The Loveland City Council split its proposed ballot measure on whether to allow retail marijuana in the city into two questions earlier this week.

Loveland city attorney Moses Garcia said city staff are drafting two separate ballot questions, with the first determining if the city council can add additional excise and sales taxes up to 15 percent on marijuana products. City staff estimated that the city would raise an additional $4.4 million in sales-tax revenue if the tax question passes. If not, Loveland would charge only its general 3 percent sales tax on products.

The other question, if passed, would allow the council to issue retail permitting at its discretion.

“It could do that where the council authorizes every single one or authorizes a specific number, or they may delegate that function to the city manager administratively,” he said. “My guess is that it would be a little bit of both.”

Loveland officials started to draft the language after a contentious four-hour meeting last month where residents, law enforcement and marijiuana industry officials sparred over whether legalizing pot sales in the city would help or hurt the city overall.

Garcia said the change doesn’t affect the timeline for the council to approve sending the measure to the ballot in the Nov. 5 election.

Voters in the city defeated a 2010 ballot measure to allow medical-marijuana production and retail after the state legalized medical marijuana, with 60 percent of voters in opposition. The city council later passed an ordinance banning all marijuana retailers in August 2013, preempting statewide recreational legalization a year later.

An effort to overturn the ban via citizen initiative in 2016 failed because it couldn’t gather the 2,600 signatures to reach the ballot.

LOVELAND  — The Loveland City Council split its proposed ballot measure on whether to allow retail marijuana in the city into two questions earlier this week.

Loveland city attorney Moses Garcia said city staff are drafting two separate ballot questions, with the first determining if the city council can add additional excise and sales taxes up to 15 percent on marijuana products. City staff estimated that the city would raise an additional $4.4 million in sales-tax revenue if the tax question passes. If not, Loveland would charge only its general 3 percent sales tax on products.

The other question, if passed, would allow the council to issue retail permitting at its discretion.

“It could do that where the council authorizes every single one or authorizes a specific number, or they may delegate that function to the city manager administratively,” he said. “My guess is that it would be a little bit of both.”

Loveland officials started to draft the language after a contentious four-hour meeting last month where residents, law enforcement and marijiuana industry officials sparred over whether legalizing pot sales in the city would help or hurt the city overall.

Garcia said the change doesn’t affect the timeline for the council to approve sending the measure to the ballot in the Nov. 5 election.

Voters in the city defeated a 2010 ballot measure to allow medical-marijuana production and retail after the state legalized medical marijuana, with 60 percent of voters in opposition. The city council later passed an ordinance banning all marijuana…