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HomeBusinessPot boom lifts Dinosaur, Colorado's spirit with overflowing profits.

Pot boom lifts Dinosaur, Colorado’s spirit with overflowing profits.

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The small town of Dinosaur, Colorado, is making its mark as a cannabis capital despite its remote location. With a population of only around 315 people, the town boasts four marijuana dispensaries, making it a contender for the title of cannabis capital of Colorado. Dinosaur’s proximity to Utah and Wyoming, where recreational marijuana use is illegal, has fueled its success in the marijuana trade. Residents from neighboring states cross the border to buy cannabis, driving the local economy and transforming the town’s fortune. Despite the thriving marijuana trade, Dinosaur still faces challenges as it tries to sustain and grow its economy beyond the cannabis industry.

Cannabis has become the lifeline of Dinosaur, with marijuana stores driving a new source of revenue for the town. The town collects a proportion of the cannabis revenue through taxes and licensing fees, allowing it to fund infrastructure projects and improve public services. With its newfound wealth, Dinosaur has been able to build sewage ponds, refurbish buildings, and hire its own marshals for law enforcement. However, the town is unsure of how to manage its growing wealth and now has excess funds, with its budget increasing from $100,000 annually to $1.4 million in cannabis-related taxes and licensing fees in 2021. Dinosaur is making efforts to beautify the town and invest in its future, but it recognizes the need to diversify its economy beyond the marijuana industry.

The decision to allow retail cannabis stores in Dinosaur was met with controversy and debate. Initially, a 2010 ballot measure to permit marijuana sales failed. However, as nearby towns in Colorado experienced prosperity due to legalized cannabis, residents reconsidered and voted in favor of retail stores in 2016. The transformation of Dinosaur from a struggling town to a cannabis hot spot has been largely positive, with limited negative consequences. The town’s economy has flourished, crime rates have not seen a significant increase, and residents have shown support for the industry. Despite this success, Dinosaur faces challenges in rebranding itself as more than just a cannabis destination and attracting a greater variety of businesses and services, such as a grocery store, to sustain long-term growth.

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