Ballot Question E, regarding the right of a marijuana dispensary owner to transfer the ownership of their business and license, should not be a polarizing issue. Every business owner should have the right to sell their business, and the ordinance which prevents only marijuana dispensaries from such a transaction by barring transfer of their license is both unreasonable and inequitable. No other business in Salida faces such a prohibition.
Some have expressed concerns that allowing transfer of ownership could:
(a) Lead to more dispensaries in Salida.
(b) Allow unscrupulous characters to buy such a business.
Both of these concerns are unfounded, and there many positive impacts to consider.
This measure does not allow for additional dispensaries in Salida. The moratorium on additional dispensaries is unaffected by this measure. There will be no additional dispensaries if it passes.
This measure does not allow just anyone to buy a dispensary. The prospective buyer of any dispensary (or other licensed marijuana operation) in the state of Colorado is subject to extensive background checks and rigorous financial review by the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division to ensure they have no criminal history and no delinquent tax obligations. The MED even reviews all contracts, loan agreements and operating agreements and regulates the sources and types of funding of a prospective buyer before allowing the transfer of a license.
This measure is clearly pro-business. It allows existing business owners who took the risk to start a business and invested considerable time and money in building that business the opportunity to realize the value they have created. There are many reasons to transfer ownership of an existing business, including a move to another location, illness, retirement, etc. There is no good reason to deny business owners the right to sell their personal property.
This measure is pro-competition. Allowing the transfer of ownership means new players coming into the market who are likely to provide greater selection at lower prices. Consumers will clearly benefit from greater competition.
This measure is potentially a source of increased funding for a great many causes now being funded by the county marijuana excise tax. At present, only one of the three dispensaries in Salida cultivates in Chaffee County. This means that the county presently has no marijuana excise tax revenue from two of the three dispensaries in Salida. A buyer that cultivates in Chaffee County would mean additional marijuana excise tax revenue for the county to fund things such as the Boys and Girls Clubs, the Chaffee County Housing Trust, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Chaffee County Family and Youth Initiatives, Full Circle Restorative Justice, Mindfulness in the Jail, the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association, The Alliance, A Little Help and more.
A “yes” vote on Ballot Question E is a vote for business, the consumer and the community.
The Committee for Fair Business Practices