Met with great debate, Snowmass Village gets its first marijuana dispensary, which is expected to open in December.
The Town Council only recently approved the zoning ordinance after a five-year moratorium on dispensaries in the village. The relatively new ordinance allows retail dispensaries to operate within certain spaces on the second floor of the Snowmass Center and Village Mall.
Some locals have supported the ordinance at public hearings siting that marijuana is a draw for tourism and support our tax base, while others protested stating the family-friendly reputation of Snowmass Village.
Whatever side of the debate you fall on, there's no arguing the pot shops are big business.
Aspen marijuana shops sold $11.3 million in 2017 and this June, Colorado surpassed $1 billion in sales tax collection since recreational sales began in 2014.
Legal marijuana was a $10.4 billion industry in the U.S. in 2018 with a quarter-million jobs devoted just to the handling of marijuana plants, according to New Frontier Data, a leading cannabis market research and data analysis firm.
Even though medical marijuana was approved by 56 percent of Colorado voters in 2000, marijuana in all its forms is still listed as a Schedule-1 narcotic by the federal government.