Exiled from Main Street in Breckenridge

The Breckenridge Cannabis Club will have to pack its bags of bud and move to the green-light suburbs, mountain-town style, if it wants to stay in Breckenridge. Photo/Allen Best

The Breckenridge Cannabis Club will have to pack its bags of bud and move to the green-light suburbs, mountain-town style, if it wants to stay in Breckenridge. Photo/Allen Best

Banished from Main Street in Breck

Many Colorado mountain towns wary of retail marijuana

by Allen Best

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. – With its vote during early December to send a marijuana dispensary skedaddling from Main Street to the edge of town, Breckenridge would seem to be veering toward caution, a flip-flop from past votes.

Breckenridge in past years has consistently voted for more liberalized marijuana laws and by wide margins.

When medical marijuana became legalized, the town council responded by allowing dispensaries on Main Street, although not on street-level units. The town in 2009 became the second in Colorado, behind Denver, to decriminalize possession of less than an ounce.

And in 2012, when 55 percent of Colorado voters supported legalization of cannabis for recreational use, 73 percent in Breck voted in support.

So what do you make of December’s vote, in which 70 percent urged the town council to keep cannabis off Main Street? (That very night, the town council did just that.)

In this decision, Breckenridge is trending with the mainstream of mountain resort towns in Colorado. Few allow cannabis sales in central, tourist-oriented business districts. Aspen and Telluride are exceptions in treating marijuana retailers more or less the same as liquor retailers. (See story from Telluride).

Fraser allows it in its business districts but requires a 1,000-foot distance from schools, which effectively puts much of the business district off limits.

Elsewhere, the theme is to allow marijuana stores, but only in select areas.

Steamboat Springs decided to cap the number of recreational dispensaries at three, the same as before for medicinal outlets. None are allowed on Lincoln Avenue or adjoining areas, the traditional downtown for Steamboat, or in the commercial area at the base of the ski area. Some other areas are allowed, says Tyler Gibbs, planning director, but the three are all to the west along Highway 40, in a service-oriented business district.

Eagle has one all-purpose dispensary and grow operation, with another expected to open in a 4,000-square-foot building by late summer of 2015, reports Tom Boni, town planner. They are restricted to the east end of Chambers Avenue—in a service-oriented business district on the edge of town.

Frisco Main Street

Lots of signs on Main Street in Frisco, but you will find nary a sign for marijuana, either medicinal or for recreational purposes. The three dispensaries are all out on the strip. Photo/Allen Best

Frisco also keeps marijuana off Main Street. It has three dispensaries, the most recent being Native Roots, which has five stores along the Front Range and in the mountains. In what many noted with a smile, it replaces an A&W Root Beer stand that for years had Biblical verses on its marquee. You can find another dispensary snuggled in the shopping complex between Walmart and Safeway, and yet a third next to a dermatologist.

What you won’t find in Frisco is a dispensary on Main Street. They’re all along Highway 9.

Even Vail, while it has not opened the door to marijuana, either medical or recreational, has something similar to the situation in Breckenridge. Three shops have now opened in Eagle-Vail, in unincorporated Eagle County, just west of the Vail town limits. The string of dispensaries is dubbed the Green Mile.

Breck’s about-face

But the Breckenridge story is most interesting because the vote seems to represent such an about-face, dreadlocks replaced by penny-loafers.

Main Street Breckenridge

Photo/Allen Best

In 2009, the town council authorized medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in downtown locations, so long as they stayed on upper floors. Most, however, gravitated over time to the town’s northern edge, in a service-oriented business district along Airport Road.

Locals dubbed it “Airpot” Road, and as of Christmas three dispensaries were operating next to businesses such as landscaping companies and plumbers in typical suburban prefab warehouse-type buildings.

The stores are all fastidious about doing age checks, carding even those people who would seem to need such age verification only for senior citizen discounts.

Product names suggest the sinister: Venom OG, White Widow, and Agent Orange, for example. They’re all on street-level locations, but there’s a bit of the underground atmosphere. You don’t see much natural light in these stores. They feel like basements.

But for a business decision, The Breckenridge Cannabis Club might have been allowed to stay on the second floor of the old yellow house on Main Street it had occupied since 2009. In 2013, the owners approached the town government with plans to convert from medical to recreational sales, expanding the potential pool of customers. The owners wanted permission to for this conversion. The town council had said yes to medical marijuana on Main Street, but not to recreational sales.

In a spirit of compromise, the Cannabis Club got a grace period for remaining at its Main Street location, even after converting to recreational sales.

Last summer, the owners approached the council again, seeking authority to remain as a recreational dispensary.

This time, council members were split. A cap on the number of dispensaries? Only second-floor locations? The council chose to sponsor a non-binding plebiscite among town voters.

The core issue was not about cannabis sales, but where they should be allowed. The fundamental concern of many, including a group called Breckenridge for Thoughtful Marijuana, was that cannabis stores on Main Street posed too much risk to the town’s family-friendly tourism “brand.”

Three former mayors, with a combined tenure of 16 years, also warned of “big risk, little upside. The town should watch marijuana evolve in Colorado and the nation carefully while continuing to encourage retail and medical marijuana sales (in the service area),” said the letter signed by Chuck Struve, Sam Mamula, and Ernie Blake.

“When marijuana goes mainstream,” they added, “our Main Street may then be ready. But not now, not yet.”

“The reality is that in the world of vacation destinations Breckenridge has a great deal of competition,” wrote Bob Gorman in a letter published in the Summit Daily News. He characterized marijuana stores on Main Street as an “experiment,” with “marijuana moguls”—as the title of one upcoming national television series calls pot entrepreneurs—gaining, but potentially the whole community losing.

Breckenridge street scene

The old-timey Victorian architect of the Main Street in Breckenridge is consistently ranked as the top reason for visitor loyalty to the resort town. Photo/Allen Best

The staff and owners of the Breckenridge Cannabis Club were having none of these arguments. In their letter, they point to hypocrisy by those – including the mayors and lodging proprietors—who condone alcohol sales at bars and restaurants but sniff at cannabis sales.

That argument did not carry the day.

What explains the change?

Has Breck changed? There’s evidence that the town has become more conservative as retirees in their ‘60s, many with past lives in corporate America, converted second homes into primary residences. That demographic shift seemed to be evident in a recent vote in which a proposal for public funding of child care failed. Some saw a new sensibility in Breckenridge several years ago in the pushback against mandatory removal of woody debris around homes.

Tim Gagen, the town manager, says that anecdotal evidence suggests most segments of the community, including long-time locals, preferred to keep cannabis shops on the town fringes and off Main Street. The only demographic in support of Main Street dispensaries consisted of newer, younger residents, such as those recently arrived to work the winter season.

What may have been a factor were statements made by one of the cannabis store employees to a national TV crew. Although I did not see that video, the owner reportedly came across as a braggart, with boasts about buying the town. One individual thought that those statements may have altered the margin of the vote slightly, say 5 percent. Others thought the cannabis store lost the election because of those statements.

To get a better handle of just how much marijuana sales put off some visitors, Breckenridge may do a survey. But will the town ask the same question about alcohol?

Breckenridge has had some  serious problems with alcohol abuse, with a beating death several years ago as the result of youthful ruffians. Photo/Allen Best

Breckenridge has had some serious problems with alcohol abuse, with a beating death several years ago as the result of youthful ruffians. Photo/Allen Best

Clearly, prohibition of alcohol did not work. Just as clearly, prohibition of marijuana has not worked, either. The reason marijuana was made illegal was because of the supposed ill effects on individuals and hence society.

It’s clear enough now that many of the underlying reasons for Congress to effectively outlaw marijuana use in 1937 were shamefully bogus. They were about power and control. Even the American Medical Association objected.

Evaluating societal risk

Does that give cannabis a clean bill of health? The Society of Risk Analysis recently met in Denver, devoting one of the plenary sessions to Colorado’s “great social experiment,” as Gov. John Hickenlooper put it.

Before introducing the speakers, David Goff, the dean of the Colorado School of Public Health, pointed out that relatively little medical research has been conducted into the public health impacts of cannabis consumption. “What’s striking is how little we know,” he said. “There’s a lot more to be learned. But that doesn’t mean we made the wrong decision here in Colorado.”

Alpenglow Botanicals

The joke in Breckenridge is that Alpenglow Botanicals and other cannabis dispensaries are located on “Air-pot” Road in the “green-light district.” Photo/Allen Best

He went on to say that our policy of criminalization of marijuana use has had the effect of putting many young men in prisons, which by nobody’s stretch of the imagination can be construed as a public health advancement.

Later speakers began breaking down what is known about public health benefits, as well as what is still unknown. Smoking? Not good, no matter what the substance. Effects on still-developing brains? No really good science yet.

Even though Telluride has embraced cannabis sales without regrets, that is the greatest concern of Mayor Stu Fraser.

For now, in Breckenridge, the cannabis stores will be off Main Street. Some people think they’ll be back in five years. One hotel concierge I spoke with said many customers inquire about cannabis, seeking transportation to Airport Road dispensaries. The hotel treats it the same as tobacco, meaning that it cannot be smoked in rooms.

For now, customers will have to go to the town’s green light district. In its mining era, Breckenridge also had a red-light district, where prostitutes operated. It wasn’t in the gingerbread Victorian houses along Main Street, but in the shacks along the Blue River.

This story is from the Dec. 30, 2014, issue of Mountain Town News. For a sample copy, please e-mail allen.best@comcast.net. Or, you can toss a PayPal tip into the Tip Jar in the upper-right hand of this page.

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About Allen Best

Allen Best is a Colorado-based journalist. He publishes a subscription-based e-zine called Mountain Town News, portions of which are published on the website of the same name, and also writes for a variety of newspapers and magazines.
This entry was posted in Breckenridge, Eagle, Frisco, Marijuana, Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Springs, Summit County, Telluride and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

72 Responses to Exiled from Main Street in Breckenridge

  1. Pingback: Marijuana goes mainstream, but not yet welcome on Main Street (+video)Visit Colorado | Visit Colorado

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  3. Clinton galvan says:

    Is there no petition we can sign to put us back on Main Street? It’s a tourist town so tourist should have some input, or a kickstarter? Where are we at, where do we stand?

  4. Christopher Rosen says:

    I agree with the editor of this story that the male Co owner came across arrogant and if I were that female Co owner I’d keep him from being on camera his mouth has cost them dearly

  5. Frank C says:

    It’s a shame that when states are moving towards legalization, bcc has to look like a drug cartel.

    I watched the cnn special, and found it amusing thst that the owner was going to call the cops on a guy selling weed to customers waiting in long line. Really, call the cops?

    • TSprad says:

      To borrow another’s comment you are an idiot. The guy selling pot to the long line was not only competing with his business, but it was illegal sales. Just because it was legalized doesn’t make it okay for anyone to start selling it on the streets. The guy was breaking the law the shop owner would have been totally correct in calling the police. Ever hear of ticket scalping? Same deal.

      • Jeffery Willims says:

        Totally agree. Or better yet since ticket sales are not regulated how about a guy standing outside a liquor store selling bottles of Grey Goose.

        It is not right that they had to leave. Seemed as if they were running an above board business and were good for the community.

  6. Anon says:

    Frank C are you an idiot or just have no idea how business works? Imagine you owned a Taco Bell but some guy put a taco cart with lower prices right on your front sidewalk and stole your business. You would do something about that, right?

    • Anon says:

      Frank c obviously has an agenda if he thinks that’s ok or is just very narrow minded. Yes the police should be called. The town is not getting tax revenue from an illegal street sale. What is amusing is the other shop owner saying his product and prices are the same but his sales are lower because of location. Thought that was 90% of a business model. Location. Location. Location. The town isn’t making it easy on tourists without a vehicle to purchase which makes you scratch your head. Don’t you want the tourists to return instead of scouting a new spot for the next trip??

  7. Chaz says:

    The male owner comes across as a real Azz Hat. I’ve watched three episodes. I’ve seen him belittle three employees. Threaten to fire most of him employees because they didn’t follow the little dictator. He and his mistress tried to bribe three potential council members. He basically cursed out the poor female assistant mgr who was overworked and underpaid. She finally told him where to stick it.

    I plan to keep watching while hoping he and mistress go out of business. Nobody wants an Azz Hat to profit off other people.

    • Tony Phillips says:

      Think you’re telling a fib. They’ve only shown two episodes.
      Don’t know how you could have watched three.

    • GaCoWa says:

      Um…azzhat? Wtf does that even mean. I’m from Summit County and he has every right to threaten to fire employees who don’t show up on time and who don’t do their jobs. If you ever worked there you would know that the lazy idiotic little girl was typical Summit County Ski Bum. It can’t always be about fun. Bills still need to get paid. And let’s not forget “editors” for reality TV are going to always make someone out to be the cocky jerk. The town is very small and these people are trying to run a business and compete with the fact that the season is only 6 month long. As far as him trying to “bribe” people…just go to Breck and show me one council member who doesn’t have an agenda.

    • Katiee says:

      I actually know the male owner from before the BCC & he is a SUPER cool guy. I bet it’s the editing/production. He’s legit.

    • Rick says:

      That’s the idea of the show though. Drama.

      You don’t know how cooked or much editing was done from what actually transpired.

      If the show portrayed all the characters as nice friendly folk just trying to make it in the mary jane business would people still watch? Not nearly as many viewers as a show with an arrogant owner who is portrayed as a pompous ass.

  8. LR says:

    Never thought I’d say it, but I totally agree with the Breck vote. I have no desire to have my child (age 12) see this type of enterprise on a Main St. ski tourist town. Too many unknowns with the drug (especially this potent version) and the food/candy pot products marketed to kids? No Thanks! I plan to spend my ski dollars in Utah instead of Colorado.

    • Skip says:

      But you are completely fine exposing your 12 year old snowflake to alcoholics, alcohol consumption by others and bars. I swear, the more I hear from American citizens on this subject, the more ignorant I think they are. Don’t you get how two faced you truly are?

    • duha says:

      Fine by me we got many people moving in and clogging our ski resorts as is. Please by all means go to utah.

    • Chris says:

      So what you are saying is you still haven’t spoken to your child about sex, drugs,and rock&roll? Be a parent first and don’t act like the outside world can be completely vanilla and do your job for you. My daughter is on point at school, she knows right from wrong, we are completely open with her in all aspects related to what’s out there. Own up to being a parent. As for targeting children…get a grip. I am an adult and love all the wacky flavors…this includes any of the indulgences I chose to partake in.
      Put the cell phone down and connect with your kid.

    • Joe Commentor says:

      Bet you buy your wine on Main Street, huh, honey?

      It’s ok for the kids to see mommy sloshed, but not stoned…

  9. Jeff Hollansworth says:

    A great many of Brek residents and tourists are Texans. I am one of them. We are conservative in our views and value Biblical principals on issues like this. You may think that is old fashion, but I don’t want to visit or own property in a place where everyone is stoned. Nor do I want my kids exposed to the apathy and liberal minded thinking that commonly is associated with pot heads. You can’t tell me that the pot doesn’t mess with your initiative and decision making. The majority of the folks that want pot in Brek are the service industry or the “free spirit” crowd. For the most part, they pay only a fraction of the taxes that it takes to run a town like Brek. They don’t own much, maybe cause they are just the partying type that is not thinking much about the future. If Brek starts advertising “Pot for sale”, I will take my vacation dollars elsewhere for sure. So will a great majority of the faith based youth groups that spend so much money there every year. I suspect Brek will lose its luster if this happens. Congrats to the Mayor and the city council for having the good sense to keep Pot out of Brek.

    • GaCoWa says:

      No problem Texas. It’s called Gaper Day bc of people like you. Ski Texas. Oh wait you can’t because there are no ski resorts. Go ahead and go ski the powder on east coast. Oh wait, that’s just ice. Guess you’re gonna have to get your boots on and stick with Colorado.

    • Oh Geez says:

      Oh my God. Please, please, PLEASE stay home. I’m a Texan, born and raised, and I now live in the Colorado mountains. You make us ex-pat Texans look really bad with this post. You sound like one of the gaper tourists who strut through town looking down your nose at the people who actually live and work in a place like Breck (there’s a “c” in there, champ) and make it run. I bet you’re loud, demanding, and disrespectful, but all those “stoners” who run your lifts, wait on your tables, and clean your hotel rooms smile and extend their hospitality to you anyway. I’m sure Breck is the same Disney-fied ski town that it was before weed – engineered to make you a happy little tourist. Sorry the culture isn’t perfectly designed for you and your little snowflake kids, but then again, I wouldn’t want my kids exposed to the shootings, gang violence, muggings, and other violent crime in any major Texas city, either. Life up here is quiet (well, when the tourists aren’t here), peaceful, and lovely, and legalization hasn’t really changed that.

      Also, Colorado doesn’t belong to you just because you like to come out once a year and gape it up on the ski slopes for a week. That decision had nothing to do with you. The people of Colorado got sick of needlessly criminalizing a plant. Do you like it when some Boulder hippie declares that they won’t visit Houston or Austin because of your gun laws or because you elected a Republican for governor? I would be. The voters out here have spoken, as is their right, and despite what you might like to think, legalization has NOT been that big of a deal.

      • The Interloper says:

        Agree with Tex. Potheads are retards. They also have a stupid, short-term and immediate gratification value system, are almost always completely dependent upon the government and are dedicated parasites, womb to the tomb. Read the comments here and ask yourself who is stoned and who is not.

        Stoners running the ski lift you are on. Stoners running heavy machinery. Stoners navigating down an icy mountain road, and aimed in your direction.

        Vacations are a luxury. Skiing is a luxury. People that can afford to travel on vacation and ski can afford to go anywhere and do anything. That’s why geographical regions and communities that deliberately configure themselves to be completely dependent upon tourism suffer when the economy takes a down-turn. Sometimes they shrivel-up and blow away. This town is depending on tourism AND the erratic and retarded impulses of marijuana users, and due to their doped-up nature, are incapable of understanding the long-term effects of that stupid economic policy (as well as the long-term effects of marijuana itself).

    • TSprad says:

      This is why I don’t live or ever want to live in Texas. “apathy and liberal minded thinking that commonly is associated with pot heads,” what a dope. Oops sorry that would be an insult to dope.

    • Michael Smith says:

      Please don’t use the Bible to cover for everything in life. Your what i call convenient Christian,when its convenient for you,your a Christian.

    • Tom Shnell says:

      Coming from a true bible thumping Texan. You do realize that Breck is a TOURIST town, therefore most people living there full time, are going to be in the service industry, you moron. The other thing is, do you even realize how much money recreational marijuana was making Breck in sales tax on a monthly basis? Just to let you know it is approximately $100,000/month, and that’s on the conservative side. If your precious state of Texas would get their faces out of their bibles and do some research they should follow in the footsteps of these other states and bring in some revenue. It might eventually lead to your reservoirs filling up with water finally…oh wait, sorry that’s God’s fault too, right? You’re better off shooting things than expressing any kind of opinion – ever.

    • Ron Deline says:

      THIS is the kind of tourist you want, Breck? Really?

      Jeff, I recommend you stick to you Texas where you can go to mega churches and drink yourselves to death. No need to come by with your hate filled “family” values.

  10. Skip says:

    All you conservatives and folks against this condone alcohol and alcohol related deaths. Congrats! You are ignorant. If you don’t understand or get my point, don’t worry, I figured you wouldnt.

  11. think if you can says:

    Lies and misconception cloud the landscape. Just because you believe it. Doesn’t make it true. Many people consume THC and cbd for recreation and medicine. Doctors. Lawyers and law enforcement alike. Wake up and smell the Lemon Kush. Americans love their pot. And frankly it seems no one has a problem with daddy on Viagra. Momma on Prozac but smoke a little pot and there goes the town. Give me a break already. Get educated before you speak. Freedom

  12. MJ1 says:

    Ohio said no to casinos. .. we now have casinos throughout the state. Ohio said no to pot. .. it’s on the ballot in November and will pass. Too many bars and deaths by alcohol to even argue against pot. Breckenridge should have embraced the tax money of main Street why they had the chance.

  13. Katie says:

    I actually know the male owner from before BCC and he is actually SUPER cool.

  14. Katiee says:

    I actually know the male owner from before the BCC & he is a SUPER cool guy. I bet it’s the editing/production.

  15. TSprad says:

    My money is on “Air Pot” road. I don’t know the area, but if Breckenridge stays with the “keep them off Main” Watch the development grow on Airport road. No pun intended. I would expect there is already a growing business for transportation to and from, and other businesses that might like to locate there as well.

    • Michael Avalon says:

      I agree with Duane &TSprad my guess is that Airport Road will eventually become a more popular destination than Main Street. As long as they add variety, restaurants, shops, lodging etc. it could become the “new” Main Street.

    • Just sayin' says:

      Other shops like, doughnut, snacks, ice cream etc. etc. I might consider opening a new eatery to feed people. If you see or smell something wonderful why you are buying, maybe you come back to eat or buy something to take with.

      Hmmmm…other businesses will thrive!

  16. Duane says:

    Is there airbnb near airport road, that are 420 friendly? If not, you 4 shop owners need to buy a house, or apt building for potourists! I would come stay as long as I have a safe place to toke. Don’t worry, the dinosaur is an artifact. So are 40% of that 70%.

  17. so schu me says:

    I concur with dan, and if i go to Brec one more time and no airbnb exists. Im in.
    See ya in 2015/16

  18. Michael Smith says:

    First of all I’m 63 yrs young. I have lived in Calf. back i the late 70’s to mid 80’s/ Yes i have smoked pot,and drank like a fish too. So i have been there and one that. I’ve done very well in life in spite of these things. Have a Beautiful Son which has given me a Beautiful Grand Daughter. Pot is here to stay,100 times better than drinking. But these Blue-Bloods in Breck can’t stand it because it wasn’t there idea. The 2 kids that are running the BCC are young and made alot of mistakes,but the Prima Donna’s that run Breck will be dead and gone in a few years,and thank goodness. Pot will be back on Main Street in less than 10 yrs. Good Riddence to Breck’s Old Fossill’s

  19. Tim says:

    I live in Tucson and the Breckenridge leaders have a lot in common with the Tucson leaders. I am a conservative Republican living in a liberal city. It drives me nuts that the city leaders like to collect the tax but not to support the tax payer! I believe the BCC has always paid their taxes on time while on camera. The town leaders, this including the financial backers of the town (aka shop owners), are Hippocrates. On the CNN show it looks like the town of Breckenridge is a town of old drunks. A festival to honor a Viking god of beer!? Allowing the town to drink on Main Street according to the town leaders once a year. Then they show Octoberfest where again there is drinking on the streets. Then you have the comment form the conservative from Texas. He or she thinks it is ok drinking in public but against pot on Main Street and won’t take their kids to the area! I have never used pot and might never use it, but to say I am against someone else using it would be acting as big brother. The town showed itself as a bunch of hypocrites and I am glad it was on CNN. A liberal town saying that they are open to everybody, oh except you potheads have to go but the drunks can stay! This is the definition of a hypocrite at it finest.

  20. Jim Hawkins says:

    Out with the old in with the new. Too many better tourist choices than a deck. Let them keep their out of touch ways and double standards.

  21. Tommy Chong says:

    So is BCC off airport road, if so where’s the new location? I’ve been watching High Profits on CNN and wanna take a trip out west but want to see if BCC is still in business.

    • I don't care says:

      SPOILER ALERT:

      So I was out there in March. BCC is in business and does in fact still have a shop on main. I went in the shop on main and they only sale paraphernalia at that location. You do in fact have to go to airport road BCC store.

      It was absolutely amazing the amount of people out there on shuttle buses around town asking where the pot shops were and how to get there if they didn’t have a car. Old, young, preppy, stoner type. It’s a draw for the town and Breck is screwing up by not embracing it. I’m not saying advertise it, but the shops are generating massive tax dollars and there is a huge draw. I am in my 30’s and we went out to ski with some friends. It happens to be spring break. I have been to Breck during Spring Break before, but have NEVER seen crowds like this past year.

      AND my $.02, alcohol and tobacco are 100 times worse than pot. We’ve had alcohol and tobacco killing tons of people for many years but no one wants them prohibited. The tax revenue from pot alone would be astounding. Legalize it and tax the shit out of it.

  22. Carroll Hinkle says:

    Makes me sad to read all the silly & mean comments about the pot issue. People from Texas are just as diverse as everyone else. I am in Breck 3 to 4 times a year for many years. I love it. Own a vacation “home” there for the same reasons that others have “moved” there: it’s beautiful, quiet, wildlife, etc. Be nice. Thanks.

    • michael says:

      Yes and Texas leads the nation with people dying because of the Pental System. Lets not talk about WACO either.

  23. Harry Touart says:

    Live in San Clemente, Ca. When the compassionate care act was passed, we had dispensaries opened within a short drive of all our beach cities. One by one the city councils voted to close them. Now we much drive to The Big Cities. The small town establishments have this fear of looking badly to the “Johnny Tourist” that come crap all over our town, trash our beaches, flip their cigarette butts everywhere, allow their brat kids to scream and disrupt the peaceful harmony of the residents, and allow the touring to get drunk and drive around. We are the ones left to clean up behind the tourist sloths yet are given the least amount of consideration from our cities lawmakers. The cities give out liquor licenses to restaurants and bars like candy, but have peaceful, business owning, law abiding citizens safe, convenient access to quality herb. NO WAY. Not on their dime.

  24. James says:

    Breckenridge suffers from the same disease that afflicts many places like here in vancouver Canada. You are infested by the baby boomer hypocrites, in “their” day they drank more than anyone, did more drugs than any generation ever did, were louder than anyone ever was, but now that they are older they want everything quiet because as the proudly have said more than a few times our generation “makes the rules”. In vancouver they used to come out here to party on, even live on the beaches doing drugs, having loud parties, but now that they have come back to retire the beaches has a police patrols and a 10PM curfew. The boomers are not at all interested in what youth may want, it’s all about them.

    As said in the article , you have a bunch of these retires that have moved in and now want the town to be what they want it to be, they are after all the “me generation” Selfish, entitled little brats. The hypocrisy is on full display when they allow open drinking on the street for what can only be called booze fests, no talk from the town council on how exactly this fits with their nonsensical Disney family experience they say they are trying to portray. Funny how stupid some of the businesses especially the hypocrite that runs his art store, hardly call it a gallery, does he make sure to screen the artist that he displays to make sure they have never taken drugs and represent his idyllic family vales type lifestyle?

    If I lived there I would start to turn the area round the pot stores into a total destination, restaurant, accommodations, with this new business community pitching in, or maybe run it at no profit with a small all day bus pass for tourists, for a shuttle bus that would make round trips out to the ski hill and possibly a stop in whats left of the main town and maybe an airport run. Steal the tourist business away from their beloved main street, they can keep their baby boomer retirees, your can go after the tourists. It wouldn’t be the first time that an area with lower cost leases and real estate, bring in the more creative entrepreneurs to create a better tourist experience.

  25. michael says:

    The Biggest problem these people made was not getting involved in Breck The Town itself. You have to give alot other than Tax money. Support as much as you could. People remember what you d0,and never forget what you take from them. Don’t just show up at Town Meetings when you need something. Be Good Citzen’s of Breck. These Kids Need to learn some street smarts. I think the Bright lights of TV Blinded them. Now maybe somebody from BCC will see this and make ammends. You should make a difference where you live and work,its not about money all the time. That is Called Greed.

  26. Truth Seeker says:

    The town leaders seem to be trying to hide behind some kind of false curtain.
    It is like a family that has a problem child, when company visits the home, they hide the problem child in one of the bedrooms.

    Because of a business selling pot on Main Street, the town leaders are AFRAID when tourist visit the town, the tourist will be offended. So they have to hide this embarrassment on the out skirts of town.

    The tourist is where most of the town’s tax revenue is coming from.
    Why not ask the tourist to vote if it OK to sell Pot on Main Street.
    Rather than the local year round residents.
    Obviously some local residents are perceiving/imaging the majority of tourist are or would be offended.

    In the end the tourist opinions are the only opinions that matter.

  27. Alan says:

    Canceling my trip to Breck. Screw that narrow minded crappy hole.

  28. Zahjah says:

    developing the area around airport rd is a wonderful idea, if possible. Uber is your friend if you don’t have a car and please any Texan or others that want to come spend their hard earned gaper $$$ in Utah—plaeeeeaze stay out in Colorado….herb is legal and the snow is MUCH better!!!!

  29. Cullen S says:

    I think a few years from now the city of Breckenridge will realize that they made a huge mistake. As a owner of my own business (not mj related), I find that Breckenridge should be supporting businesses, instead they basically turned the back on a business that did nothing wrong. For that reason, myself, my FAMILY and other business owners that normally frequent Breckenridge will no longer do so.

  30. Lauren says:

    Reading all these comments has been extremely interesting. For those who are interested in visiting BCC should know that we are now on Airport Rd. and have rebranded. We are now called Backcountry Cannabis Company and are making the best of an unfortunate situation. Our bud is beautiful and our prices are competitive. Opinions aside, come check out the shop and I assure you will be greeted with a huge smile and impeccable service. The CNN show is what it is and documented one of the largest political debates of our time. Breckenridge is one small town so you can imagine the opinions of large cities and the country as a whole and how contrasting they are. We know the truth will soon come to light. Cannabis can heal the nation. http://www.backcountrycannabis.com

    • Eric says:

      I am wondering, since you seem to be directly connected to the business in question, how is it that a council woman can be threatened with loss of her lively hood unless she votes in a certain manner. Her town council vote that night, to send the question to a public vote, by her own admission, on camera, for CNN, was influenced by threats to her financial well being from the opposition to MMJ on main street in Breckenridge. Surely this is illegal?

  31. Jessica says:

    Screw those old, hypocritical snobs of Breck, make Air Pot road the envy of those idiots! Run a free service bringing tourists to your shop and let them watch their tourists $$ go up in smoke! I’d tell every single tourist that those with shops on main were the reasons you’re not there any longer. If I was told that I would not spend my $$ there! Good news, as when I told my grandmother my mom was worried about those at church when I got pregnant at 16, ‘screw em, they’re old and will die soon anyways!’

  32. Liz says:

    I recently moved to Colorado and have been watching the CNN show with great interest. I personally am not a marijuana user but I do support the legal, monitored, and safe sale of it. As a nurse, I see the devastating effects of tobacco and alcohol on a daily basis. I’ve also seen the devastating effects of marijuana laced with God knows what that patients have purchased on the streets. I’m glad that Colorado residents who are of age and choose to use marijuana have access to safe products

    What I did notice while watching the CNN show was how eager the town council wanted the cameras to be gone so they could railroad BCC out of the public eye. They and the anti-pot members of the community accused the BCC of “buying” council members? There seemed to be a lot of dollars going toward getting rid of the store on main street and it appeared that the donors and council members had a sweet little party to celebrate their “success.”

    If I were a voter in Breckenridge, I would ask for a special election to replace the council members who supported the scare tactics and threats of financial consequences that were on display. The council has put itself on a very slippery slope. Your business could be next – what if the town council (or deep pocketed resort developers) decide that they don’t like what “message” your business is sending to Mr. & Mrs. Tourist? That Christian book store you want to open? It could turn people off and chase away non-Christians. You want to open a high-end lingerie store? Sorry, that’s just too risqué. Let’s keep Mr & Mrs. T buzzed on our fine Colorado beer then make sure there are plenty of coffee shops to chase away the hangover and leave it at that.

    As for me, I’m okay with leaving Breckenridge off my bucket list of towns to explore in my new home state. You Breckenridge business owners have your town council to thank for that decision.

  33. David Uter says:

    Obviously corrupt and simple minded Council Members made me sick running off a legitimate business like that. Hadn’t been keeping up in real time only watching the CNN show. Don’t know how I missed it as a Denver resident. Have family from Los Angeles to Boston come out and ski with me every year for a week. I know where we won’t be heading.

  34. Tired Vet says:

    It’s was ok to put your life on the line for FREEDOM and pay my taxes. Then you can get drunk and loud and do the stupid things that unhappy drunks do, maybe even hurt yourself or someone else by accident. But if you want to just relax and mellow out for a moment from all of todays stresses and craziness of the world. No, I have look over your shoulder and hide because you’re a criminal. I believe it’s this way so that the powers that be can make sure that you don’t stand up against all the unjust laws. How convenient all those fancy silver lined pocketed Washington Lawyers have made it for themselves.

  35. Tired Vet says:

    It’s was ok to put your life on the line for FREEDOM and pay your taxes. Then you can get drunk and loud, argue and do stupid things like go out and drive, maybe even hurt or kill yourself or someone else by accident. But if I want to just relax with a joint from all of todays stresses and craziness of the world after 17 1/2 years of 16,24,36 hour shifts of fighting hackers from foreign countries from gaining access into the systems, you can’t in most states. You’ve always looking over your shoulder because you’re a criminal and that’s criminal in my book. I believe it’s this way so that the powers that be can control us and make sure that you don’t stand up against all the unjust laws being passed because that would draw attention get you put in jail. How sad and convenient all those fancy silver lined pocketed Washington Lawyers have made it that way for themselves.

  36. Was a Breck Skier says:

    Was a season pass holder for Breck, now just going to shoot through town to Copper Mtn from Park County. No Breck tax dollars from me, unless Hwy 9 becomes a toll road.

  37. Carol Knapp says:

    How about some VW buses as shuttles going to the hotels and ski areas to pick up tourists to take them to airport road? I would help fund something like that.

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  39. mike says:

    Found what michael said interesting:”The Biggest problem these people made was not getting involved in Breck The Town itself”-on the show they seem to be self-centered relative to their business-they should be smoozing the other business owners(gifts/taking them to lunches,etc),putting on city wide festivals with free food,promotions etc etc-get the people so behind you they will support you(its called lobbying in Wash. D.C.,and it works pretty well,doesn’t it?On a side note I felt even though their rent went up to 6K a month they should have stayed and saved until they were able to pay cash for any expansion

    • marc says:

      I totally agree with what you commented. I believe this is an amazing story and demonstrate the importance of planning. From my perspective and by following the show I saw some red flags, the business seemed always in difficulties despite the high sales volume and the huge amount of staff. Determination and ambition are not enough to be successful. Knowledge is what gets you results. Ask around, any million dollar company has a team of several advisers on payroll. Assuming that business had retained a qualified financial adviser and a good lawyer, circumstances would have been very different.

  40. ryan says:

    $25 per gram? come to Canada pay $7 per and don’t worry about being shot possible a hug and kiss is all you will pay in tax….

  41. wally says:

    Where specifically in Canada would one fine such hospitality?

  42. Jessie Williams says:

    All the conservatives saying they want the pot off main street apparently don’t support Free Market Capitalism. You guys need to get your political agenda straight. FreeMarket Capitalism needs to rule…..not a socialist agenda where the government tells you what you can and cannot do. If I go to Breck I’ll gladly spend my money there at the Cannabis Club.

  43. storify.com says:

    And the remaining, as they say, is history,” he mentioned.

  44. E says:

    Without a doubt, the skeeziest sort of filth ever. I’ll never go to a town like that. Family friendly my ass. Not my family.

  45. NativeCO says:

    To update, BCC in Breck is no more, but the Crested Butte store is still open for business. So all you saintly, bible fearing, gapen Texans can return to your beloved Breck~scratch that, stay the hell out of Colorado. It was bad enough when all you idiots move up here for every oil boom, but you also come here to ruin my hobby all winter long. Nope, as a Boulder born, college educated, occasional user of edibles, gainfully employed, home owner I am fed up. Stay home, go ski on Apache or Sandia Peak, leave your tax dollars in the “greatest state”.
    Additionally, find one ME (medical examiner) report that definitively states Marijuana was the cause of death. Not, while high the driver smashed into a telephone pole. But, literally along the lines of Male, 27, died from smoking too much Marijuana. I’ll save you Googling if you like; you won’t. Really. Not a single death certificate will pin cause of death to Marijuana.
    http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Causes_of_Death#sthash.xmSl1WUj.dpbs
    Scroll all the way down that table. See that 0, that’s what you are making a big stink about. 0 deaths per year. But, politely ignore some 47,000 of your fellow Americans that die from Alcohol (adding Alcoholic Liver Disease to Alcohol-Induced Deaths) every single year; and this is coming from someone who loves a great Single Malt Bourbon or Scotch. Alcohol is processed plants, it is things that grow in the ground and water. Guess what pot is, its a plant. Just a reminder to do some research before climbing your soapbox. Now go succeed from the Union already so we can build the wall the rest of the US wants.

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