Our view: It’s time pot shops are treated like other retailers
We would call upon Steamboat Springs City Council to give the retail marijuana industry here its due and lighten up on the regulatory stance that has been imposed on the $10 million industry that collects a significant measure of sales tax to help fund our city.
We also believe that it’s time for city government to revisit its stance of limiting licenses to operate marijuana retail stores to three. It has been four years since a different city council laid down the law on how many marijuana stores could operate in Ski Town USA.
During that time, the relative lack of competition is giving those three stores a virtual monopoly on a burgeoning business category. We wonder, “How did the city come to decide that only those three fortunate entrepreneurs could profit from a growth industry like cannabis retailing?”
We know they weren’t picked by lottery. City government should provide more retailers an opportunity, and consumers more choices.
We make these recommendations not because we are inclined to advocate in favor of smoking marijuana but out of a sense of fairness.
This month, Rocky Mountain Remedies, currently operating in a warehouse neighborhood, far removed from the free bus route, approached the city seeking permission to move across town to 410 Lincoln Ave. north of the intersection with Hilltop Parkway.
We call on City Council to allow that move to take place. There is no sound reason for limiting marijuana retailers to retail spaces that are far from the resort base.
Furthermore, we think it’s time that the sales-tax dependent city, which operates on the fruits of capitalism, reconsider its edict that the first three marijuana retailers to become licensed here will be the only operators ever to be given the opportunity to make a living from lawfully selling cannabis products.
That’s just not the way America works.
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