The rush for green gold

I couldn’t believe when I stumbled upon an article on The Denver Channel that stated that the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in Denver is now around 390.

Apparently, this number is greater than the number of Starbucks throughout the state, which is find rather amusing. I’m kind of anti-Starbucks anyway, except for the month of September, I can’t resist those pumpkin lattes.

With a population of 598,707, Denver claims 1 dispensary per 1,535 residents, and the number of registered medical marijuana patients has grown to about 30,000.

Oh, how the times have changes.

Marijuana is now becoming big business, and it seems like everyone and their brother are now on the band wagon to farm, harvest and sell green gold.

Living in Breckenridge, there is  a lot of talk that the town is “going to pot”, since it was decriminalized a few months ago. But, to deny that joints haven’t been passed around on chairlifts for decades would be a bit naive.

My view has always been that if you’re not hurting yourself or others, then you’re probably okay with doing what you want.

Do I think that all 30,000 medical marijuana patients really need weed for relieving chronic pain? Not a chance. But, I believe that should this industry keep growing it all some amazing potential for tax revenue.

Legalizing and taxing marijuana could lead to millions of dollars in tax revenue, which could go to schools, road repair, and as ironic as it sounds, law enforcement.

Here in Breckenridge I see both sides of the coin. At the end of the day, we are a resort town and our survival depends greatly on our reputation. I’ve read more than one letter to the editor from mothers in Texas who fear their children will immediately fall over stoned from second-hand smoke the minute they cross town lines.

Most locals, however, know that the town has been attracting the pro-marijuana population for years. It’s these so-called “stoners” who work the rental shops, serve the late night drinks,  and clean up the hotel rooms in order to keep the town running so the tourists can play.

I’m interested to see what happens in the next couple of years in regards to medical marijuana regulations, and especially what will happen in Breckenridge as word spread around the country that we are now more green friendly than ever before.

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