VAIL, Colo.—Aspen, Telluride, and Crested Butte allowed sales of recreational marijuana as soon as it was legal, in January 2014. Vail, however, is taking its time.
The town council discussed their options at length last week, but postponed any decision. Town residents, by a wide margin, voted with a majority of voters in 2012 for legalization. But a town survey that includes only residents, visitors, and vacation-home owners overwhelmingly showed opposition.
Councilman Greg Moffet was most clear in voicing support for ways to accommodate a desire to consume cannabis, “to provide the best possible guest experience.”
“I am most concerned about creating an environment where a percentage of our guests—and we need to make peace with this fact—that a percentage of our guests want to consume this product,” he said. “ I think it is incumbent on us to not put our heads in the sand as to what is going on here. The status quo is broken.”
“You are talking about marijuana clubs, where people can consume it,” replied Mayor Andy Daly. Daly later added that “we do have a percentage of our guests—a small percentage—using marijuana here, but it is not a majority.”
Daly also stressed the need to understand the issue of marijuana use from the perspective not only of national visitors, but also international visitors.
The method of consumption may be at issue. To the surprise of regulators and perhaps retailers themselves, upwards of 40 percent of the sale of THC-infused products has been in the form of edibles. Vaping—a form of ingestion that does not involve the familiar pungent smell of burning cannabis—has also become more popular.