It’s been more than twenty months since Colorado’s first recreational pot shops opened their doors, and despite what the rest of the world may think, most of the state’s towns and cities do not have pot shops on every corner. Amendment 64, the law allowing adult use of marijuana in Colorado, also allows each county and municipality to decide whether to let medical and recreational pot businesses operate within their limits, and the answer has hardly been a resounding yes. According to the Colorado Municipal League, almost 72 percent of Colorado municipalities that have addressed the issue of recreational marijuana had banned it as of April 2015, and nearly 15 percent haven’t addressed the issue at all. With so much confusion about who can purchase what and where, Westword has compiled a list of counties and municipalities that allow medical and recreational marijuana — and the wet blankets that don’t.
Creating the list was harder than you might think. Many counties have bans on recreational marijuana while cities inside the counties allow it, which means that the county ordinances for or against marijuana businesses only apply to the unincorporated parts of that county. For example, Sedgwick County prohibits all forms of marijuana businesses, but the town of Sedgwick doesn’t, so operating a pot shop within city limits is legal. Some towns and counties — Arapahoe and Montrose counties, for instance — have bans or moratoriums on new marijuana business, but have allowed existing establishments to remain. Towns like Breckenridge, Dillon, Glenwood Springs and Pueblo all currently have moratoriums in place that prohibit new pot businesses from applying, but those moratoriums will be up within a year — unless the cities extend them.
Then there are those towns with industry caps, which only allow a certain number of pot businesses before closing the gates. (Wheat Ridge’s limit of five dispensaries has been reached, so the city is no longer accepting applications, and Eagle only allows one pot shop per 5,000 town residents.) And some counties and cities, such as Gilpin County and Fort Collins, are still proponents of vertical integration, which means that only medical dispensaries can apply for a recreational license.
Many of the towns that ban recreational marijuana might be too small to support such dispensaries even if they were allowed. Even so, towns like Calhan, Ignacio, Haxtun and Seibert — all with populations estimated to be less than 1,000 — have all taken action to prohibit marijuana businesses. Some small communities, however, have decided to allow other forms of marijuana businesses, but not dispensaries. And then there are still other counties and cities — most notably, Colorado Springs — that allow medical sales but prohibit recreational businesses.
The town of Seibert had 181 residents as of 2010. It banned retail marijuana in 2013.
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Here’s our current list of the places where you can legally buy pot and where you can’t; watch westword.com/marijuana for updates.
Municipalities Allowing Recreational Marijuana Sales (bolded cities allow sales but don’t have shops yet): Alma, Antonito, Aspen, Aurora, Basalt, Black Hawk, Boulder, Breckenridge, Carbondale, Central City, Commerce City, Cortez, Crested Butte, De Beque, Denver, Dillon, Durango, Eagle, Edgewater, Empire, Fraser, Fort Collins, Frisco, Garden City, Georgetown, Glendale, Glenwood Springs, Gunnison, Idaho Springs, La Veta, Lafayette, Leadville, Log Lane Village, Louisville, Lyons, Mancos, Manitou Springs, Mountain View, Nederland, Northglenn, Oak Creek, Pagosa Springs, Pueblo, Red Cliff, Rio, Ridgway, Rifle, Salida, Sedgwick, Silt, Silver Plume, Silverthorne, Silverton, Steamboat Springs, Telluride, Trinidad, Walsenburg, Wheat Ridge.
Municipalities Banning Recreational Sales: Akron, Alamosa, Arriba, Arvada, Ault, Avon, Bayfield, Bennett, Berthoud, Bethune, Brighton, Brookside, Broomfield, Brush, Buena Vista, Burlington, Calhan, Cañon City, Castle Pines, Castle Rock, Centennial, Cherry Hills Village, Coal Creek, Cokedale, Colorado Springs, Columbine Valley, Craig, Crawford, Creede, Crestone, Cripple Creek, Dacono, Del Norte, Dinosaur, Dove Creek, Eads, Eaton, Eckley, Elizabeth, Englewood, Erie, Estes Park, Evans, Fairplay, Federal Heights, Firestone, Fleming, Florence, Fort Lupton, Fort Morgan, Fountain, Fowler, Foxfield, Frederick, Fruita, Gilcrest, Golden, Granada, Granby, Grand Junction, Greeley, Green Mountain Falls, Greenwood Village, Gypsum, Haxtun, Hayden (cultivation allowed), Holly, Holyoke, Hooper, Hot Sulphur Springs, Hotchkiss, Hudson, Hug, Ignacio, Illif, Jamestown, Johnstown, Julesburg, Keenesburg, Kersey, Kim, Kiowa, Kremmling, La Junta, La Salle, Lake City, Lakewood, Lamar, Larkspur, Las Animas, Limon, Littleton, Lochbuie, Lone Tree, Longmont (dispensaries listed in Longmont are technically in unincorporated Longmont County), Loveland, Mead, Meeker, Milliken, Minturn, Monte Vista, Montrose, Monument, Morrison, Mountain Village, Naturia, New Castle, Norwood, Nucla, Nunn, Olathe, Olney Springs, Orchard City, Ordway, Otis, Ouray, Ovid, Palisade, Palmer Lake, Pania, Parachute (cultivation allowed), Parker, Peetz, Pierce, Poncha Springs, Pritchett, Ramah, Rangley, Raymer, Rockyvale, Rocky Ford, Romeo, Rye, Saguache, Sanford, Seibert, Severance, Sheridan, Silver Cliff, Simla, Snowmass Village, South Fork, Springfield, Sterling, Stratton, Sugar City, Superior, Swink, Thornton, Timnath, Vail, Victor, Vona, Walden, Walsh, Wellington, Westcliffe, Westminster, Wiggins, Williamsburg, Windsor, Winter Park, Woodland Park, Wray, Yampa, Yuma.
Counties Allowing Medical Sales but Not Recreational Sales: Alamosa, Arapahoe, El Paso, Fremont, Teller.
Despite being the second-most populous city in the state, Colorado Springs has yet embrace recreational sales like Denver has.
Municipalities Allowing Medical Sales but Not Recreational Sales (bolded cities allow sales but don’t have shops): Berthoud, Buena Vista, Canon City, Colorado Springs, Craig, Crestone, Dacono, Englewood, Golden, Lakewood, Littleton, Palisade, Palmer Lake.
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Counties Allowing Recreational Sales: Adams, Archuleta, Boulder, Chaffee, Clear Creek, Costilla, Denver, Eagle, Gilpin, Grand, La Plata, Larimer, Montrose, Ouray, Park, Pitkin, Pueblo, Saguache, San Juan, San Miguel, Summit.
Counties Banning Recreational Sales: Alamosa, Arapahoe, Baca, Bent, Broomfield, Cheyenne, Conejos, Crowley, Custer, Delta, Dolores, Douglas, Elbert, El Paso, Fremont, Garfield (medical cultivation allowed), Gunnison County (cultivation, manufacturing and testing allowed), Hinsdale, Huerfano (cultivation allowed), Jackson, Jefferson, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lake (cultivation allowed), Las Animas, Lincoln, Logan, Mesa, Mineral, Moffat, Montezuma, Morgan, Montrose, Otero, Phillips, Prowers, Rio Blanco, Rio Grande, Routt, Sedgwick, Teller, Washington, Weld, Yuma.
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