Recreational marijuana is now legal in Colorado, and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., now wants to see pot regulated like alcohol nationwide.
“Today Colorado becomes the first state to implement comprehensive marijuana regulation,” said Polis, whose district includes Vail and part of surrounding Eagle County. “By regulating marijuana like alcohol, Colorado voters hope to reduce crime and keep marijuana away from kids.
The sale of marijuana for recreational use by consumers over the age of 21 was made legal by the statewide passage of Amendment 64 in November of 2012. Colorado and the state of Washington became the first two electorates in the world to legalize recreational marijuana.
Hundreds of retail outlets applied for permits to sell pot in Colorado starting today, but only a handful completed the lengthy process in time to actually open their doors today.
One of those stores, the Breckenridge Cannabis Club, is located in the nearby ski town of Breckenridge in neighboring Summit County.
Town of Vail officials are still considering how to proceed on the issue of recreational marijuana, voting recently to continue a ban on allowing retail recreational pot sales.
Vail Resorts posted a blog in mid-December reminding snow riders that the ski company’s facilities are located on leased United States Forest Service land and that marijuana is still illegal under federal law.
“It is not legal to use marijuana publicly, on lifts or on USFS property; therefore, it is not legal on Vail Mountain,” Vail Resorts officials blogged. “We also do not permit the consumption of marijuana in any of our facilities or premises under our control and we will enforce this vigorously.”
Some ski-town tourists have expressed dismay over Colorado’s new marijuana laws. However, businesses are lining up to cash in on what’s expected to be lucrative new pot tourism industry. How it lines up with the state’s existing outdoor recreation industry remains to be seen.
Other mountain outlets for pot sales include stores in Idaho Springs and Central City, both located between Vail and Denver.
The Huffington Post today released a list of recreational pot shops open for business both in Denver and across the state. Here are the shops listed outside of the Denver city limits: