So Far Colorado's Cities Overwhelmingly Prefer Banning Pot Shops to Regulating Them

The Colorado Springs Independent has a handy rundown of local reactions to the marijuana stores that are supposed to start operating in Colorado early next year. Based on information from the Colorado Municipal League, the Independent lists 67 cities that have banned recreational cannabis growers and retailers within their borders, as permitted by Amendment 64, the state's marijuana legalization initiative. By far the largest town with a ban is Colorado Springs, the state's second most populous city. The biggest city, Denver, is on the list of eight municipalities that have announced plans to regulate pot shops; the others include Boulder and Telluride. At least 28 cities, including Aurora and Vail, have imposed moratoriums on recreational cannabis sales and plan to wait until after this November's vote on marijuana taxes before settling on a policy.

Colorado has 271 municipalities, so it looks like most of them are still undecided. (Since state law requires local approval before a pot store can be licensed, simply waiting and doing nothing amounts to a de facto moratorium.) Among Colorado's 64 counties, six have decided to allow recreational pot cultivation and sales in their unincorporated areas, 34 have banned cannabusinesses, 10 have imposed moratoriums, three are banning new outlets but allowing existing medical marijuana centers to convert, and 11 are undecided.

The overwhelming preference for bans among local governments that have taken action may seem puzzling given that 55 percent of Colorado voters supported Amendment 64, including majorities in some of the jurisdictions that are banning stores. But a local option was part of the initiative's appeal, and so was the revenue from marijuana taxes that may or may not take effect, depending on the outcome of the vote on Proposition AA. (Colorado's constitution requires separate voter approval of new taxes.) Furthermore, even the most anti-pot jurisdiction (I'm looking at you, Greenwood Village) has no choice but to tolerate not only possession but also home cultivation of up to six plants. Presumably most consumers will not bother to grow their own as long as they can find a state-licensed store within a reasonable driving distance.

I explore the ins and outs of Colorado's break from marijuana prohibition in the cover story of Reason's November issue (which you would already have if you subscribed).  

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    So municipalities that choose to ban "cannabusiness" don't enjoy any of the tax revenue from other areas of the state that allow it, right?

  • Paul.||

    Not if it murders their children, no.

  • Datrebor||

    WHAT???? There has not been ONE Death from just Cannabis. So where did that staement come from?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    By far the largest town with a ban is Colorado Springs

    Huh.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    It's a pretty traditional town, what with the Air Force and Focus On The Family and other socially conservative outlets. I'm still a bit surprised it's city-wide, though.

  • Datrebor||

    The Air Force wants to ban Blueberry Chobani Flip yogurt cause it has Hemp seeds.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The overwhelming preference for bans among local governments that have taken action may seem puzzling given that 55 percent of Colorado voters supported Amendment 64"

    It's classic nimbyism.

    There are lots of things people want legal but want their own municipality to restrict by requiring Conditional Use Permits and such.

    People want junkyards to be legal. But who wants a junkyard in their town?

    Put in that town down the highway, the one where all the tweekers live. Put it in the industrial part, right between the meat processing plant and the titty bar.

    If Whole Foods, or somebody like that, applied for a permit, they'd probably get one.

  • Datrebor||

    Where is junkyards Not legal? I want a junk yard in my town. You can get auto parts and some really cool stuff from them.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Ya know who isnt on that list? Glendale. Weird. I would expect them to make it cheap and easy to open up a shop as that city is basically a libertarian paradise.

  • Paul.||

    the Independent lists 67 cities that have banned recreational cannabis growers and retailers within their borders, as permitted by Amendment 64, the state's marijuana legalization initiative.

    *crosses arms, frowns, sighs*

  • Robert||

    Reason's November issue (which you would already have if you subscribed).
    Only if delivery's better than when I finally let my subscription lapse.

  • Datrebor||

    Cities should not be allowed to ban that which the majority of the people said they wanted. Anyone that tries to block this should be voted out of office next term.

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