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Monday, February 6, 2023

The great impact of cannabis on border cities

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Since its founding in 1862, the city of Trinidad has been regularly navigating through identities and the economy. Justifications Dieter. The discovery of rich coal deposits in the rugged mountains along the Santa Fe Trail between Denver and New Mexico meant that the frontier village began as a mining town (and the way the mining conglomerates operated meant Trinidad was also a company town). After the mines slowed down and closed, between the 1960s and 2010s, a single successful (and controversial) surgeon’s practice earned Trinidad the unofficial title of “the sex change capital of the United States”. In the era of cannabis legalization, another boom-and-bust cycle appeared and went in Trinidad: a “border town” of cannabis no longer exists.

The bubble

In Trinidad, dozens of cannabis stores opened for business after the sale of adult-use cannabis in Colorado began in 2014. Along with the business on the city’s main street, a Denver entrepreneur sold local authorities on allowing the world’s first “Marijuana is a small mall.” There was so much weed for sale in Trinidad that the community boasted “one pot shop for every 300 people,” according to Amanda Kurth, chairman of the Trinidad Las Animas Provincial Chamber of Commerce.

This has nothing to do with Trinidad itself – they don’t smoke more weed there than they do in Pueblo – but it is all about geography. About a three-hour drive from Santa Fe, Trinidad is the closest Colorado city to New Mexico along Interstate 25. This meant that Trinidad was an obvious destination for anyone in New Mexico wishing to buy legal cannabis—and anyone heading south that wanted to stop before entering. to a dry country.

In Trinidad, the flowering of cannabis on the border has continued for more than eight years. On April 1, legal cannabis sale seem In New Mexico, with the full support of Governor Michael Logan Grisham, who encouraged Cannabis entrepreneurs in New Mexico “get out of the industry” and – somehow – sell more cannabis per year than more populous Colorado. Cannabis is not taxed as heavily in New Mexico as it is in Colorado, and customers can buy up to two ounces per day — double the one-ounce limit in Colorado. And unlike California and Colorado, local areas cannot opt ​​out of sales.

…and bust

As NPR reports, from the start, cannabis dispensaries have popped up all over the southern and eastern parts of the state, in small towns like Clovis, in classic truck-stop towns like Las Cruces — anywhere within driving distance of Texas, where cannabis is still illegal. .

Las Cruces موقع website R. Greenleaf, Justin Day, CEO of Schwazze, said in a recent phone interview that the Colorado-based Schwazze-owned dispensary chain is now the company’s “highest-grossing department store,” with visitors from Texas making up about half of the customer base.

He added, “We’re not just there for the border,” but as The data for the first half of the year published by BDS Analytics showedSales slowed and generally stabilized in Colorado as it boomed in New Mexico. This spells trouble for border towns along the Colorado and New Mexico line — and the beginning of the end for Trinidad’s recent boom.

“You wouldn’t want to buy a store in Trinidad now,” Day said. “You don’t want to be a worker there. It has been greatly reduced.” For now, you don’t have to worry about Schwazze and Dye: Most Colorado dispensaries are located in the Denver metro area. Sales are slowing there, too, but at least there is no concern about competition outside the state — or a tectonic shift in geography, such as a factory shutdown or drying up of oil wells, threatening the settlements’ economic vitality.

This does not mean that there is nothing good now in Trinidad – just that the “little marijuana mall” and concentration of dispensaries may have outlived their time.

Life in the New American West

For Kurth, president of the Trinidad Chamber of Commerce, this is just another cycle, along with mining, sexual changes, and now cannabis.

“I left those industries,” she said, “and so was boom or bust, feast or famine.” “When I got into the marijuana stores, it was a huge boom.” But she added, offering a counterpoint to reinforcement from New Mexico Gov. Logan Gresham, “They talked a lot about taxes and what taxes would do for schools, roads, etc. Who — that.”

As for how long the border betting will last elsewhere, that’s a matter of time and politics — and the strange situation of rooting against the march of rationing in red states including Texas and Utah, the latter of which is just a short drive from the dinosaur, CO, on the western edge for that state. There are 183 people in dinosaurs, according to census numbers – and there are three dispensaries, which is a higher percentage than Trinidad.

Dye thinks Texas will stay dry for a while. “I don’t see Texas having a major for quite some time,” he said, a position due to the deep red county in the Lone Star State. “I think that’s going to be a thing for a long time around border towns.”

But there are signs to the contrary. Mr. Miller, Trump’s supportive Agriculture Commissioner, wears a ten-gallon hat in Texas, became recently The state’s top Republican is calling for the legalization of medical cannabis. If Texas moved at half the speed of New Mexico, border towns in that state might find their time in the sun even shorter than Trinidad—but it’s still part of the same rhythm predicted in the New American West.


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