Estes Park Voters Reject Marijuana Businesses

This book store in Estes Park doesn't want commercial pot to come to town.
This book store in Estes Park doesn't want commercial pot to come to town. Thomas Mitchell
Estes Park won't allow the marijuana industry in after all, according to unofficial results from the town clerk.

The town of over 6,000 people just to the east of Rocky Mountain National Park was considering an ordinance that would have lifted Estes Park's ban on marijuana businesses, which has been in place since before the first recreational pot stores opened in Colorado in 2014. 

According to a post on the Estes Park Facebook page, the vote was lopsided enough that the clerk could determine its outcome by late December 10, with 68 percent of submitted ballots rejecting Ordinance 23-19.

The ordinance would have created business licenses for medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries as well as allowed medical and recreational cultivations. Just three licenses would have been issued in each category, and the businesses wouldn't have been allowed in Estes Park's downtown district around Elkhorn Avenue, or within 1,000 feet of any primary education schools.

But Estes Park residents still thought the measure was too risky, and rejected the proposal. (In doing so, it followed the recent lead of Loveland in rejecting the marijuana industry.) In a statement sent to Westword, Estes Park Citizens Opposed to Legal Marijuana Outlets —  the largest financial donor to oppose the measure — celebrated the measure's defeat.

Outstanding win for the citizens of Estes Park - 1805 NO and 834 Yes. According to Town Clerk—Jackie Williamson at the Board of Trustees Meeting tonight, 60% Of Estes Park voters cast ballots in this Election. Sounds like it was a really high turnout to say “NO — We don’t want Marijuana in our Town! Find another venue to peddle your poison!”

THANK YOU to all the Estes Park-Lovin Residents that chose protecting our community and Children over the almighty dollar. 
Despite its small population, Estes Park sees millions of tourists each year, thanks to the town's proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park. Even if Estes Park had chosen to to legalize commercial pot, however, possessing or consuming cannabis at Rocky Mountain National Park would have remained illegal, as the park is on federal land.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.
Contact: Thomas Mitchell