By Mike Kruzman /

Brighton City Council further talked out options for how to approach potentially opting into recreational marijuana establishments.

In October, City Council tasked the Planning Commission to explore licensure requirements and what a zoning amendment might look like for allowing 2 dispensaries and 2 marijuana testing facilities.

The Planning Commission, despite having several voices against supporting such establishments, still came to consensus agreements on several ordinance questions such as district locations, hours of operation, screening and buffers.

However, as Councilwoman Susan Gardner (who also sits on the Planning Commission) put it, there was a hesitancy to send their findings to Council without first putting it through the traditional zoning amendment process. She said that a good portion of their discussion has been about the way to information is going to Council and how the data points they provide are going to be interpreted. Gardner said the Planning Commission wants nothing construed as an endorsement.

City Attorney Laura Genovich was present for Thursday night’s Council meeting and agreed that the sentiment against marijuana establishments from the Planning Commission was clear. Genovich offered another option for Council - one where Council drafts the zoning amendment and then sends it to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission would then go through the process of posting notice, holding a public hearing, and then making a recommendation for or against it. With or without Planning Commission support, the resolution would still come back to Council for their ultimate vote.

Councilmembers then began leaning in the direction of taking the Planning Commission’s findings as “task completed” with Pettengill and Jon Emaus stating they would not view them as endorsements.

Gardner said the Planning Commission likely needs this Monday’s meeting to better flesh things out. Community Development Manager Mike Caruso, who has been working with the Planning Commission through this, says he believes he has good direction for them.