El Paso County bans green crosses on medical marijuana signs

County commissioners voted unanimously on Thursday, Feb. 5 to ban green crosses from medical marijuana dispensaries in non-incorporated parts of the county. / Taylor Bishop -- FOX21 News
County commissioners voted unanimously on Thursday, Feb. 5 to ban green crosses from medical marijuana dispensaries in non-incorporated parts of the county. / Taylor Bishop -- FOX21 News

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — Medical marijuana facilities in the area could be getting a new look. El Paso County is banning the use of green crosses on medical dispensary signs.

The Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously on Feb. 5 to ban green crosses from medical marijuana dispensaries in non-incorporated parts of the county.

A white cross with a green background is the universal first aid symbol and county commissioners said younger people, those who move here for the military and tourists, are confusing medical marijuana shops for other medical services

“The signs that are out there that are just the green crosses that a lot if medical marijuana facilities are using are very similar to just the regular medical assistance type of symbol, the crosses that are used for medical facilities, for emergency response facilities, etc,” said Amy Lathen, county commissioner.

Dispensaries said they’ve never seen that happen.

“Yeah there’s never confusion like that that’s crazy,” said Devin Vargas, the store lead at New Age Medical. “The only thing we get from the green crosses is people thinking that we’re a recreational dispensary and you know Colorado Springs is only medical.”

There’s only five existing dispensaries the new ban will affect. They’ll have to change their signs when they renew their licenses. Some in the cannabis industry feel like they’re being targeted, but they said many people are coming to the area because of medical marijuana.

“Just seeing the green crosses isn’t going to make too much of a difference you know,” Vargas said. “Almost everybody in America, most people know that Colorado has medical and recreational marijuana.”

County commissioners argue signage needs to be consistent with the Land Development Code, which currently says the words marijuana or cannabis cannot be used.

“You can’t have people confusing regular medical response with what’s called medical marijuana, which is not a medicine that’s recognized of course by the federal government or in regular, traditional medical settings,” said Lathen.

Commissioners said they hope other Pikes Peak region municipalities will follow their lead in banning the green crosses.

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