Marijuana may be legal in Colorado, but it appears as if it may be awhile before recreational cannabis business and sales will be welcomed across the Centennial State with open arms and a smoking bowl. That is because, as of yesterday, time is up for Colorado’s 271 cities and 64 counties to make their decision on whether or not to permit and support the recreational marijuana trade as part of their business community.
As of now, Denver is the only large metropolitan area in Colorado that has given the green light to recreational marijuana sales. Other major cities across that state, including Colorado Springs, Thornton, Westminster and Centennial have adamantly refused to permit anything even distantly related to recreational cannabis sales, while the city administrations in Lakewood, Fort Collins, Pueblo, Arvada and Aurora have simply chosen to freeze the issue until sometime next year.
Even though Aurora doesn’t plan to nip the issue of recreational marijuana sales in the bud until sometime around May 2014, the city does appear to be the most open-minded to the possibility, and has recently been involved in reviewing strategies for implementing proposed regulatory systems.
Still, until a decision is made next year, Denver will exist as the only big city in Colorado where recreational marijuana sales is a welcomed neighbor to legitimate commerce. Denver has already developed and approved regulations required for the recreational cannabis trade, including a 3.5 to 15% special tax on recreational marijuana sales, which are set to go before voters next month.
In addition, the City of Boulder is predicted to finalize approval on regulations, which includes a 5% special tax on marijuana sales, before the end of the month. However, earlier today, officials from the Boulder County administration announced that the city was placing a 22-day moratorium on the issue of the retail marijuana trade, with plans to make a decision on October 22 regarding whether they will permit marijuana businesses in self-governing portions of the county.
The counties of Summit, Huerfano, Saguache, Costilla and Pueblo have all given their approval and support for retail weed slingers wishing to set up shop in their neck of the woods.
While it doesn’t make much sense for major cities in Colorado to sandbag the inevitability of the retail marijuana trade existing in a state where weed was made legal under Amendment 64, many smaller communities clearly see the economic benefit of following the smoke, so to speak. Recreational marijuana commerce will be permitted in Aspen, Basalt, Black Hawk, Breckenridge, Carbondale, Durango, Eagle, Frisco, Glendale, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Manitou Springs, Telluride, Silverthorne, Steamboat Springs, Crested Butte, Silverton, Red Cliff, Leadville, Salida, Georgetown, Northglenn, Nederland, Silverton, Idaho Springs and Pueblo.
Regardless of many Colorado municipalities using moratoriums to drag their feet, some until late 2014, the good news is that while the retail cannabis trade may only be currently permitted in one major city, a handful of select counties and some small towns, it is there nonetheless. Everything worthwhile in this wild and wicked world can only exists after suffering some excruciating growing pains. What is important, however, is that there is continued growth.