Monday marked the deadline for Colorado's 271 cities and towns and 64 counties to decide whether they want to ban recreational cannabis businesses and sales -- and it is starting to look like Denver will be ganja ground zero.
Creative commons/Matt Wright.
Already, four of the ten largest cities in Colorado (Colorado Springs, Thornton, Westminster and Centennial) have banned recreational cannabis sales outright, and five others have placed moratoriums on shops until next year.
Lakewood has a moratorium in place until January 2014; Fort Collins, Pueblo and Arvada have put pot on hold until March 2014; and Aurora is waiting to make a decision until May 2014. Of these locations, Aurora seems to have the most interest in actually revisiting the issue, with its council hearing proposals on regulatory systems as recently as two weeks ago.
But unless and until Aurora gives the okay, Denver will be the lone big city in Colorado that is allowing recreational cannabis sales made legal by the passage of Amendment 64. Denver City Council has already approved recreational cannabis rules and in November will ask voters to approve a 3.5 percent special tax (which can be increased to as much as 15 percent) on recreational cannabis sales. That's in addition to proposed state taxes up for a vote next month, too. The City of Boulder will also allow recreational sales and is expected to approve licensing rules this month.
Other towns that will allow recreational cannabis sales include Aspen, Basalt, Black Hawk, Breckenridge, Carbondale, Durango, Eagle, Frisco, Glendale, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Manitou Springs, Telluride, Silverthorne, Steamboat Springs, Crested Butte, Silverton, Red Cliff, Leadville, Salida, Georgetown, Northglenn, Nederland, Silverton, Idaho Springs and Pueblo.