Recreational marijuana sales start Wednesday morning in Steamboat Springs

Rocky Mountain Remedies co-owner Kevin Fisher talks about the security protocols Tuesday at his new retail marijuana facility as Steamboat Springs Police Chief Joel Rae, with clipboard, leads an inspection of the property with City Clerk Julie Franklin. The store passed the inspection and is expected to open Wednesday.

Consumer tips

Heading out to buy recreational marijuana at Rocky Mountain Remedies? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

■ Sales and possession are limited to adults 21 and older.

■ Marijuana cannot be consumed or smoked in public.

■ Those who are caught smoking or consuming it in public can be ticketed by police.

■ Colorado residents can buy an ounce; visitors can buy a quarter of an ounce.

■ Drivers who are impaired by marijuana can be arrested for driving under the influence of drugs.

■ Most lodging properties here do not allow smoking of any kind on the premises, including in shared places such as pools and hot tubs.

■ If you are unsure about the legality of smoking on rented private property, ask the landlord about smoking policies.

— Steamboat Springs has entered a “bold new era.”

That's what Steamboat Springs City Council President Bart Kounovsky proclaimed Tuesday night moments after the council, acting as the marijuana licensing authority for the first time, unanimously approved the city's first retail marijuana license.

Rocky Mountain Remedies will open at 10 a.m. Wednesday and start to sell recreational marijuana to adults ages 21 and older.

It will be the first of an expected three marijuana shops to open in the city in the coming weeks.

The vote to approve the license for Rocky Mountain Remedies capped the end of months of extensive preparations by both the city and marijuana establishments.

Owners of the store weren't present at Tuesday's meeting when the license was approved, but co-owner Ryan Fisher said Monday that employees have been putting in a lot of 12- to 14-hour workdays to prepare for opening day.

Just last week, security alarms at the store still were being tested and other work was being done to prepare for the opening.

When Rocky Mountain Remedies opens and starts selling retail marijuana, the city will be able to see what impact recreational pot sales will have on this community.

Kounovsky said the council will look to community members and the police department to update them on how the unprecedented sales are going. The feedback will help to determine whether any changes to the city's code will be necessary, he said.

A $9,000 annual licensing fee charged to the retail pot shops will cover the costs the city will incur monitoring the shops like they do liquor stores.

Police Chief Joel Rae said last week police will do compliance checks on the pot shops early and often to ensure marijuana isn't being sold to minors.

He also stressed consumer education will be important so that marijuana isn't consumed or smoked illegally in public.

Golden Leaf is poised to become the next recreational marijuana shop to open in Steamboat.

Its application originally was going to be postponed until Feb. 11, but the application now will be considered Jan. 21.

Recreational marijuana started going on sale in Colorado on Jan. 1, and so far, the demand has been high.

Denver's 7News reported Tuesday that the demand is so heavy on the Front Range, many of the pot shops have started rationing their inventory for fear of selling out.

The approval of Steamboat's first retail marijuana license Tuesday was the start of an eventful meeting for the council.

In other action, the council:

■ Appointed the seven members of the new lodging tax steering committee that will help to oversee the spending of the lodging tax on trail projects. Candidates selected were Scott Marr, Harry Martin, David High, Gavin Malia, Dan Bonner, Jon Wade and Pete Wither. Interviews for the Yampa River Promenade steering committee will be held Jan. 21. Look for a story on the members of the new committees in future issues of the Steamboat Pilot & Today.

■ Voted, 5-1, to dedicate $21,000 toward a new group sales pilot program that will be a partnership among the city, the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association and the lodging community. The program aims to attract larger groups to Steamboat. Council member Scott Ford opposed the motion, saying he didn't feel it was the city's role to support the business venture. Kenny Reisman was absent from Tuesday's meeting.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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Community comments

Note: The Steamboat Pilot & Today doesn’t necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy.

(John St Pierre) fishcreek says...

so how was that $9K fee paid???? in cash or check?? should be public information?????

Posted 7 January 2014, 10:13 p.m. Suggest removal

(Joey Bowman) Kid says...

Nice work RMR.Be ready to Waite in a long line for your bag!!!

Posted 7 January 2014, 11:32 p.m. Suggest removal

(Zac Brennan) zacman says...

How much is a license fee for a liquor store or bar cost annually?

Posted 8 January 2014, 1:27 a.m. Suggest removal

(bill schurman) expublicdefender says...

Thanks Scott Ford, that's why I voted for you. Let the Chamber fend for itself without government handouts.

Posted 8 January 2014, 9:23 a.m. Suggest removal

(Scott Ford) scottford says...

Bill - Thanks for your voice of support.

Recently a friend shared with me an ancient Chinese Proverb that simply states that the beginning of wisdom is learning to call things what they are. Last night the taxpayers of Steamboat Springs were asked to help fund a “private business venture”.

The WIIFM (“What’s in it for me?”) for the City was the hope of increased sales tax collections. I ran the numbers the Chamber provided and without question there could be a sizable return on the City’s “investment” if everything goes as planned. However, from my perspective it is not the City’s job to chase after (fund) the next “great thing” in the hopes of increasing sales tax dollars.

The City’s job is not to chase sales tax dollars. The City’s job is to be as responsible as possible with the sales tax dollars received to be sure essential services are provided, we take care of what the public owns and support a “quality of life” infrastructure ranging from trails to soccer fields, ice rinks and rodeo grounds, etc.

The hiring of a Conference Sales Consultant to coordinate between the major lodging properties is in all likelihood a good business idea. The City does play a role in “conference” business. It is the same role that it is charged with in helping making this place a great place to live, work and play. It is a long list of important things to make sure happen:

When the faucet is turned on safe drinking water comes out and when the toilet is flushed waste is properly disposed of.
When someone in need calls “911” help is on the way in a reasonable amount of time.
The streets are maintained, plowed, and safe to travel.
The publicly owned facilities are maintained.
The trash is picked up and landscape is watered.
Etc – etc.

Last night the taxpayers of Steamboat Springs were asked to co-fund a business venture. Is this what the taxpayers want the City to do? I would welcome other’s comments on this subject.

Posted 8 January 2014, 5:12 p.m. Suggest removal

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