Steamboat business owner has issues with pot shops being stuck in west side of town

Recreational marijuana is weighed and sold at Rocky Mountain Remedies in Steamboat Springs.
Scott Franz

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A business owner in West Steamboat Springs doesn’t think it’s fair that the city’s elected officials are keeping all three of the city’s marijuana dispensaries on his side of the city.

Steamboat Rentals owner Jack Horner told the City Council this week he thinks the dispensaries should be allowed to move somewhere east of Bud Werner Memorial Library, so that their impacts on neighboring businesses and roads could be spread out.

“Traffic is a major issue on this side of town” because of the dispensaries, Horner said as he told stories of traffic crossing his private property to get to a nearby pot shop. “We have two lanes on the highway. The other side of town has four.”

Horner also told the council about other issues he’s had with the marijuana industry, including empty marijuana containers littering his property adjacent to a dispensary.

Horner acknowledged he didn’t support the legalization of recreational marijuana. But now that the industry has been legalized, he said he thinks the dispensaries should be allowed to be in other parts of the city.

“You feel like everything has just been shoved out here because they don’t really want that image on the other side of town,” he said.

Horner told the council that just like the other side of the city, West Steamboat has family restaurants, parks and other amenities.

He approached council members two weeks after they voted 4-3 to deny an application from Rocky Mountain Remedies to move to a new location between downtown and Steamboat Ski Area.

“They have a right, in my opinion, to be over there,” he said. “A dispensary is no more trouble to a community than a liquor store.”

Council members who voted against the move cited the dispensary’s proximity to vacant residential land as well as concerns about traffic as reasons it shouldn’t be allowed to go there.

Horner said he feels like there’s a double standard going on, and local dispensaries should have the right to move to other parts of the city.

Zoning regulations prevent dispensaries from opening on main street in the downtown area.

And a rule that prevents dispensaries from setting up shop within 1,000 feet of a park also has prevented them from pursuing locations closer to the ski area.

On Tuesday night, the City Council upheld its denial of RMR’s move to the center of town.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.

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