Colorado Springs, CO: No Recreational Marijuana StoresBy Ross Baglia July 23, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Colorado’s second largest city, Colorado Springs, is on the verge of banning recreational marijuana retail stores, forfeiting a projected $3 million in recreational marijuana sales taxes for the city.
The City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on whether or not to ban retail pot shops under last year’s Amendment 64, which legalized retail sales of cannabis to adults in the state.
Four of nine city council members have said that they plan on voting against allowing retail marijuana stores in the city, but even if the council votes to allow the retail sale of marijuana to adults 21 or older, Mayor Steve Bach says he will veto any ordinance allowing the stores to open in the city.
There does not appear to be enough support on the council to overturn a mayoral veto.
Colorado Springs is the second largest city in the state, behind Denver. Located at the base of Pike’s Peak and the Rocky Mountains, the city is a popular tourist destination, with an estimated 5 million visitors annually.
It was projected that recreational marijuana sales in the city would generate approximately $3 million annually in tax revenue for the city. Sales would be limited to one ounce of pot for Colorado residents or a quarter of an ounce for out of state visitors.
Colorado Springs is the county seat of El Paso County, where Amendment 64 passed by 10 votes. Even before the election, county commissioners for El Paso County, as well as the Colorado Springs city council, passed resolutions opposing Amendment 64.
Colorado Springs currently allows medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, and there is currently no ban on liquor stores or bars.
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by Ross Baglia