Palisade trustee resigns two days after taking his seat

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PALISADE, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) -- He got the most votes in Palisade's Board of Trustee election earlier this month. Now just two days after he was sworn in, Jesse Loughman has resigned.

"It's certainly disappointing," Loughman said. "I had looked forward to bringing something new to the table."

The issue? He owns Palisade's only retail and medical marijuana stores.

The state Marijuana Enforcement Division said the problem was with state code CRS 12-43.3-307 and 12-43.4-306, which says "Persons prohibited as licensees include "an officer or employee of ... a local licensing authority." An elected official, in this case, would constitute an 'officer.'

"We had hoped and anticipated that I would be able to recuse from all the votes and not be involved in any of the licensing there," Loughman said.

Mayor Roger Granat was stunned to hear from the Marijuana Enforcement Division.

"In my almost 20 years of serving on the town council, we have never at this point had to investigate or have questions for any of the people who were elected as to what their business was and how they made their living," Granat said.

Loughman, who was the top vote-getter for the four open seats in early April, was selected to be Mayor Pro-Tem at his only council meeting.

"I didn't think it was going to be as big of an issue as it is," Loughman said.

Because the election was held recently, the mayor said he will tell the board to select the candidate who had the next most votes. That means If approved, Jessica Bonds would serve either until the next election in 2020 or for Houghman's full four-year term.

Still, all sides agree, they hate to lose someone who has been so connected to the community.

"Jesse has been very supportive of the town of Palisade," Granat said. "He and his wife Desa have just been super citizens."

"While It's unfortunate that I won't be able to sit on the board, I'll still be quite involved in town," Loughman said.

Before Loughman took his seat, The Board of Trustees approved a conditional use permit for a second recreational marijuana shop. The board will decide how to handle replacing him at their next meeting April 24.

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