The Pima Town Council came out firmly against recreational marijuana sales or processing during Tuesday night’s meeting.
“If we allow this inside the Town of Pima, I think it would change the character of our town,” said Pima Mayor C.B. Fletcher.
Pima Town Manager Sean Lewis explained that Proposition 207, which passed in November, allows Arizona residents to have an ounce of marijuana on their person without facing criminal charges. Arizona residents will be able to grow up to six marijuana plants on their own. When the medical marijuana proposition, Proposition 203 passed in 2010, the Town of Pima voted against allowing the sale of medical marijuana in the town.
Initially, Lewis said he was excited about the increased sales revenue and business for Pima if dispensaries chose to set up shop within the city limits. After some research, he spoke to Graham County Manager Dustin Welker and made his personal decision on the subject.
“He (Welker) sent me the voting results in the Town of Pima and it was two-thirds of a vote to not allow this proposition at all. The way I read that is the people of Pima don’t want this type of business in town. And if the people of Pima don’t want this type of business in town, I don’t think we want this type of business in town,” Lewis said.
The council agreed unanimously voted to prevent dispensary businesses from setting up within the city limits.
“Personally, I’m very pleased with the people of the Town of Pima and the way they turned out to vote on this particular measure. That also tells our council how you feel about these things,” Fletcher said.
The city council also unanimously voted against allowing marijuana processing facilities to operate within the town’s city limits. Lewis said the processing creates a strong odor and locals probably don’t want the smell, especially if the majority of the town’s voters didn’t want anything to do with recreational marijuana.
The council voted to keep its current regulations regarding marijuana farming. The town allows marijuana farming outside town limits; to grow it within town limits, the council would have to approve a zoning change.
With the passing of Proposition 207, the town was immediately eyed as a location to build multiple recreational marijuana dispensaries, Lewis said.
“When this first passed I was approached by three serious people who wanted to do a dispensary. They’re going to build a dispensary somewhere in this valley, if not this valley then Willcox. They have the means and the right permits,” Lewis said.
At the end of the discussion Fletcher said he was satisfied.
“We have a great place to live here and I’m very pleased with the work that the council has done tonight, including these measures, and making this go into the laws we have here in town,” said Fletcher to the council and people attending the meeting. “Thank you very much for voting. It’s an honor to serve you, it’s an honor to hear your voices.”