Keep Westword Free
I Support Local Community Journalism
Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.
Colorado’s most dispensary-heavy border town could soon be facing challengers across state lines.
Home to 26 dispensaries and fewer than 9,000 people, Trinidad has been a popular marijuana outpost for travelers coming through on Interstate 25, with visitors from New Mexico, whose border is just south of the town, responsible for the heaviest influx of customers, according to local dispensary owners.
But New Mexico has been on the verge of legalizing recreational marijuana for a couple of years now, and could make the move in a special session of the New Mexico Legislature if Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has her way. Although not a lock — the New Mexico Senate has failed to hear a recreational legalization bill in 2020 and 2021 — Grisham is on record as saying she is “not going to wait another year” to get recreational legalization done, and proponents view the change as a matter of when, not if.
While Trinidad dispensary owners acknowledge that not all 26 stores will survive after New Mexico legalizes, managers of both chain and independent operations in the town say they believe that more states joining the party is a good thing.
“We want to see marijuana legalized across the U.S., and we want to see people have access to this remedy and choice,” says Kimberly Schultz, co-owner of Trinidad’s Higher Calling U dispensary. “The New Mexico economy could use the boost while alleviating some of the legal aspect that comes down on the people.”
A native of Albuquerque, Schultz is hopeful that interstate commerce between New Mexico and Colorado marijuana businesses will be possible if federal legalization ever comes to pass.