Wellington Marijuana Ordinance Passes by One Vote

Wellington, a town of about 10,000 people, sits north of Fort Collins in Larimer County.
Wellington, a town of about 10,000 people, sits north of Fort Collins in Larimer County. townofwellington.com
A month after the November 2 election, Wellington's ballot initiative allowing marijuana sales in the Colorado town has officially passed by one vote.

Late unofficial results showed the marijuana initiative falling behind, but it moved ahead by a single vote after overseas and provisional ballots were first tallied by the Larimer County Clerk and Recorder. Those numbers held up, according to the official recount; the results were posted on December 3.

Initiative 2B received 1,678 "yes" votes, while 1,677 "no" votes were counted. As a result, the town about twenty minutes from the Wyoming border will repeal a ban on marijuana sales and create local licensing rules for medical and marijuana sales in 2022.

"The numbers stand. We did it, by one vote. Thank you all!!!" reads a statement announcing the results from Responsible Wellington, the main proponent of the measure.

Initiative 300, a separate local proposal that proposed a 3.5 percent special tax on marijuana sales in Wellington, also passed in November's election, but wasn't included in the recount.

This was the second year in a row that marijuana proponents tried to pass initiatives allowing dispensary sales in the town. The 2020 attempt was just as dramatic, with the Wellington Board of Trustees blocking the ballot questions over contested technicalities; its objections were eventually held up on appeal by a hearing officer hired by the Town of Wellington.

Wellington's marijuana sales initiative wasn't the only race that came down to a single vote in the Larimer County recount: In a contest for Loveland City Council's Ward 4 seat, Jon Mallo beat Caitlin Wyrick 3,336 to 3,335.

Idaho Springs saw marijuana drama go down to the wire in the November election, as well. Unofficial results showed that a measure overhauling marijuana excise taxes won by one vote, a margin that was later bumped up to two votes after all votes were counted.

Golden voters were also involved in a close race surrounding marijuana sales, with the town voting in favor of ending a local ban on recreational sales by fewer than 55 votes.
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.
Contact: Thomas Mitchell