Retail marijuana businesses in unincorporated Eagle County, Colorado, will be allowed to begin selling recreational marijuana on Jan. 1 – despite the fact that the ritzy resort town of Vail has temporarily banned all cannabis sales.
Vail is the largest town in the country and draws tens of thousands of visitors each year, making the area a prime market for marijuana tourism.
County commissioners voted this week in favor of allowing recreational sales in unincorporated areas, which include the communities of Dotsero, Eagle-Vail, Edwards and El Jebel.
Many tourists will likely seek out cannabis while in town for skiing, so the market could be huge. Entrepreneurs in unincorporated areas can capitalize on the situation, as they won’t have to compete with Vail itself for marijuana customers.
Home to one of the most well-known ski resorts in the United States, Vail banned all medical marijuana businesses in 2010, a year after Colorado legalized medical marijuana. The resort town then voted to ban all recreational businesses in January, and then extended that ban in July
As part of the county vote this week, commissioners also OK’d a handful of other marijuana-related regulations, including a 500-foot buffer zone from high schools, a cap on the number of retail stores in unincorporated areas (the number will be decided at a later date), and a limit of 18 plants to be grown by private residents where there are at least three adults. The town will also begin drafting regulations to define marijuana social clubs.