Most area pot retailers still waiting for local approval
Colorado is set to make history come Jan. 1, with the advent of retail stores across the state selling small amounts of marijuana to anyone age 21 years or older.
But Western Slope residents will have to head to the mountains to be among the first Coloradans to purchase weed legally after the first of the year, according to the first batch of retail marijuana license-holders announced earlier this week.
Of the 136 licenses granted to potential marijuana stores statewide, the businesses in closest proximity to the Grand Valley are in Carbondale, near Aspen.
Despite receiving state licenses, businesses still must gain local approval before they can open their doors to customers. In Carbondale, that local approval won’t happen until at least Jan. 14.
According to Carbondale Town Manager Jay Harrington, a public hearing about the town’s first retail marijuana store is scheduled for that day.
A number of state retail marijuana licenses were granted to numerous businesses in Summit County.
The town of Frisco counts one of the new retail license-holders, but to this point they have not received the local approval they need to open Jan. 1. Town officials said it’s still possible for them to be approved before the end of the year.
“I think there is a hope that it will happen. But it hasn’t been approved yet,” said Deborah Wohlmuth, Frisco town clerk. “It’s only (Dec. 26), so it is possible it could get processed before (Jan. 1).”
Wohlmuth said that a vote of the town council is not necessary for the business to get local approval. Frisco’s code only requires “internal review,” she said.
A bit farther down Interstate 70 from Frisco, in the town of Silverthorne, the prospect of a retail marijuana store opening on Jan. 1 is perhaps the most sure-fire.
The one business in Silverthorne granted a state retail marijuana license has already gained the local approval needed after a vote Dec. 11 by the town council.
“Our understanding is that they will be ready to go Jan. 1,” said Ryan Hyland, Silverthorne assistant town manager.
Other retail marijuana licenses were issued to a number of businesses in the Breckenridge area as well.
Retail stores could also be coming to the resort towns of Steamboat Springs and Telluride.
In Steamboat, one business received a state retail marijuana license, and in Telluride three businesses were granted the proper state license.
Those three Telluride businesses applied for local applications before the town’s Retail Marijuana Licensing Authority on Dec. 23.
No one was able to be reached Thursday in Telluride to say if those local businesses gained the approvals they need to open after the first of the year.