Denver may be Colorado’s cannabis capital, but Trinidad is the state’s pound-for-pound champion. The border town of just over 8,000 people is home to 25 dispensaries and sees plenty of consumers coming north from New Mexico and nearby Texas. But while the town is a shopper’s mecca, most of Trinidad’s cannabis-buying visitors don’t have anywhere to smoke it, since social use is still banned at local businesses.
But that could change, with the Trinidad City Council now accepting public input on whether it should create marijuana hospitality licenses for dispensaries, hotels and other establishments. Kimberly Schultz, one of Trinidad’s first dispensary owners, has plenty to say; she believes that adding social use would keep the town’s cannabis tourists — and their money — around a little longer.
We recently caught up with Schultz, co-owner of Trinidad’s Higher Calling U, to learn more about the past, present and future of legal weed in the town.
Westword: Were you in Trinidad when the cannabis boom began?
Kimberly Schultz: We actually opened the first store in Trinidad within a couple of weeks [of legalization], and it was so crazy here at the border. We’re a mom-and-pop store, so we scrounged up everything we could and rounded up some partners, and purchased an old warehouse that had been vacant for years. I was in the Chamber of Commerce until 2012, and we always sat around the economic development table trying to figure out how to keep jobs and our youth here, and how to bring tourism back to the level it was at one point. Then marijuana came to town, and a lot of those questions were answered between the manufacturing, jobs and tourism that were brought along with it.
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