Although Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed several historic measures to implement marijuana legalization in the state, establishing Colorado as the world's first legal, regulated and taxed marijuana market for adults back in May, many of the Centennial State's cities are banning retail legal weed.
On Tuesday, Colorado Springs, the state's second largest city, is expected to vote to ban retail recreational marijuana stores, The Associated Press reports. Four of nine Colorado Springs City Council members have already said they will vote against retail weed stores. But even if legal marijuana sales are approved, Mayor Steve Bach has vowed to veto recreational pot shops in the city limits.
The City Council could just ban recreational marijuana sales altogether or allow marijuana sales but also pass a moratorium on opening pot shops until after Colorado voters weigh in on approving tax rates for recreational marijuana in the state this November. But according to the Gazette, Bach has said he'd even veto the moratorium option.
"This is so important to our community and in our best interest that I will respectfully need to veto anything short of opting out," Bach said in a Gazette report.
Recreational pot sales in Colorado cities that opt-in can begin on Jan. 1, 2014.
Colorado Springs will likely be the next of more than two dozen Colorado cities that have banned recreational marijuana sales.
Even cities like Denver, which approved recreational marijuana sales, are also considering longer moratoriums on new pot business licenses than the state law requires -- Denver Mayor Hancock, a vocal opponent of legal recreational marijuana, recommended a two-year moratorium on new pot shops, a ban on on pot clubs and on public consumption.
Should the two-year moratorium pass, only existing medical marijuana dispensaries would be able to apply for the license which will allow them to sell both medical and recreational pot during that period.
“I think a number of localities are deciding prematurely to prohibit these businesses,” Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project and key player in the marijuana legalization effort in Colorado, said to Bloomberg Businessweek. “If enough localities are banning these businesses, it increases the possibility that a black market for marijuana will continue to exist.”
Colorado voters passed Amendment 64 last November making the limited sale, possession and growing of marijuana for recreational purposes legal for adults 21 and over. A64 states that adults can possess up to an ounce of pot, can grow as many as six marijuana plants at home (with only three flowering at any given time), but that home-grown marijuana can only be for personal use and cannot be sold, however, adults can gift one another up to an ounce of pot.
The Colorado Department of Revenue released a detailed report earlier this month with the rules for the licensing, regulating and selling of marijuana in Colorado.
The state department report sets very specific rules for recreational marijuana in Colorado from licensing to how a retail marijuana store should operate to how retail grow operations should function to marijuana testing to marketing and to labeling of marijuana products.
Labels must conform to the specific language requirements of the state including information on potency, amount of THC in the marijuana product, a clear set of instructions on how to properly use the product, a complete list of nonorganic pesticides, fungicides and herbicides used during cultivation and much more depending on the type of product which can range from marijuana buds for smoking, a marijuana-laced food or a THC-concentrate like a marijuana "wax."
All retail marijuana products must also contain these warning statements like: "There may be health risks associated with the consumption of this product,” “This product is intended for use by adults 21 years and older. Keep out of the reach of children," and "This product is unlawful outside the State of Colorado.”
Recreational marijuana buyers must produce a government-issued photo ID to prove that they are 21-years-old or older.
Adult tourists in Colorado are limited to purchasing only a quarter of an ounce.
The state department also intends on setting up a seed-to-sale tracking system which will make all marijuana producers and sellers responsible for each plant produced and sold.
A64 also allows adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use even in those cities or counties that have banned retail sales.
Colorado's 271 municipalities and 64 counties must decide by Oct. 1 as to whether they will allow for legal recreational marijuana sales.
Related on HuffPost:
$13.7 Billion Saved On Prohibition Enforcement Costs
The government would save an estimated $13.7 billion on prohibition enforcement costs and tax revenue by legalizing marijuana, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/economists-marijuana-legalization_n_1431840.html" target="_hplink">according to a paper endorsed by 300 economists</a>.
Marijuana Inmates Cost Prisons $1 Billion A Year
Inmates incarcerated on marijuana-related charges cost U.S. prisons $1 billion annually, according to a 2007 study, <a href="http://www.alternet.org/rights/47815/" target="_hplink">AlterNet reports</a>.
Marijuana Prohibition Costs Taxpayers $41.8 Billion A Year
Including lost tax revenues, a 2007 study found that enforcing the marijuana prohibition costs tax payers $41.8 billion annually, <a href="http://www.forbes.com/2007/09/29/marijuana-laws-work-biz-cx_qh_1001pot.html" target="_hplink">Forbes</a> reports.
California Marijuana Crop Worth $14 Billion A Year
Marijuana growers account for <a href="http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1884956,00.html" target="_hplink">$14 billion a year in sales in California</a>, making it the state's most valuable cash crop, TIME reports.
Illegal Marijuana A $36 Billion A Year Industry
It's estimated that <a href="http://madamenoire.com/106691/capitalizing-on-the-billion-dollar-marijuana-industry/" target="_hplink">illegal marijuana is a $36 billion industry</a> in the U.S., MadameNoire reports.
One-Third Of Americans Think Legalization Would Boost The Economy
About one-third of Americans say they think <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/20/legalizing-pot-will-not-b_n_544526.html?" target="_hplink">legalizing marijuana would boost the economy</a>, according to a 2010 poll by Associated Press-CNBC.
Dispensary Ads Boost Newspapers' Revenue
The <em>Sacramento News and Review</em> saw a big boost in ad revenue when it offered advertising space for more than 60 medical marijuana dispensaries, enabling the publication to hire three additional employees, <a href="http://www.news10.net/news/local/article/144285/2/Marijuana-ads-mean-big-money-for-weekly-newspaper" target="_hplink">according to News 10</a>.
Mendocino Zip Tie Program Raised $600,000
Mendocino County, California's zip tie program aimed at regulating medical marijuana growing by charging permits for each plant raised <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/09/medical-marijuana-license-mendocino_n_1193198.html" target="_hplink">$600,000 in revenue in for the Sheriff's department</a> in 2011.
Oakland Raised More Than $1 Million In Marijuana Tax Revenue
The city of Oakland, California raised $1.3 million in tax revenue from medical marijuana dispensaries in 2011, 3 percent of the city's total business tax revenue, according to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/us/cities-turn-to-a-crop-for-cash-medical-marijuana.html?_r=1" target="_hplink"><em>The New York Times</em></a>.
Colorado Pulls In $5 Million From Pot Sales Tax
In 2011, Colorado pulled in $5 milllion in sales taxes from medical marijuana businesses, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/us/cities-turn-to-a-crop-for-cash-medical-marijuana.html?_r=1" target="_hplink"><em>The New York Times</em></a> reports.
Legal Marijuana Could Be $100 Billion Industry
Economist Stephen Easton estimated in 2010 that <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/debateroom/archives/2010/03/legalize_mariju.html" target="_hplink">legal marijuana could be a $45 to $100 billion industry</a>, <em>Bloomberg Businessweek</em> reports.
Each weGrow Center Creates 75 Jobs
When hydroponic marijuana growing supply chain weGrow opens a new store it <a href="http://aznow.biz/small-biz/wegrow-phoenix-opens-cultivates-opportunities-arizona)" target="_hplink">creates an estimated 75 jobs</a> indirectly, according to AZBusiness Magazine.
Majority Of States Support Taxing Marijuana
More than <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/20/legalizing-pot-will-not-b_n_544526.html?" target="_hplink">60 percent of states agree with taxing marijuana</a>, according to a poll by Associated Press-CNBC.
Marijuana Affects Workplace Motivation
A Norwegian study 25 years in the making came to the shocking conclusion that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/marijuana-use-has-adverse-affect-workplace-motivation_n_1300278.html?" target="_hplink">frequent marijuana use lowers employees' motivation at work</a>.
More Than 1,000 Dispensaries In California
There could be more than 1,000 medical marijuana dispensaries operating in California, <a href="http://www.pasadenaweekly.com/cms/story/detail/how_does_your_pot_grow/8070/" target="_hplink"><em>Pasadena Weekly</em></a> reported in 2009.
Denver Counts More Dispensaries Than Starbucks
As of July 2011, the city of Denver <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/06/medical-marijuana-denver-starbucks_n_891796.html" target="_hplink">counted more medical marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks franchises</a>.