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.

Photo by Scott Franz

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.

First retail pot shop in Steamboat passes inspection, could open Wednesday

In other action

In addition to considering a retail marijuana application, the Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday will:

• Interview the applicants for the lodging tax steering committee that will help to oversee funding of trail projects.

• Consider approving $362,975 worth of funding for local non-profit groups.

• Hear a presentation on the city's debt rating and structure.

• Consider endorsing a new group sales program.

— The first Steamboat Springs City Council meeting of 2014 will be one for the history books.

Acting for the first time as the local marijuana licensing authority, the council Tuesday night will consider approving the city's first retail marijuana license for Rocky Mountain Remedies.

The approval would usher in a new era of recreational pot sales starting Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Public Safety Director Joel Rae said the retail marijuana shop on Downhill Drive has met all of the city and state requirements to open after passing the final part of an exhaustive inspection Monday morning.

Rocky Mountain Remedies will be the first of three recreational pot shops expected to open in Steamboat.

Ryan Fisher, the co-owner of the store, said preparations for the big moment on Wednesday have been ongoing since late summer.

"We've been putting in a lot of 12- to 14-hour days," he said.

The other two planned retail pot shops, Golden Leaf and Natural Choice, haven't gotten to a point yet where they can be inspected by the city and earn a license.

That means Rocky Mountain Remedies will likely be the only recreational marijuana shop open in town until at least February, when Golden Leaf's application is expected to be considered by the city.

Under Colorado law, state residents 21 and older can purchase up to an ounce of marijuana at the pot shops. Visitors can purchase only up to a quarter of an ounce.

As recreational pot becomes available to purchase here, Rae and police are hoping consumers will be responsible by not consuming or smoking pot in public while also keeping it out of children's hands.

Officers also are undergoing new training to better detect drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs such as marijuana.

Steamboat's marijuana sales are getting a bit of a late start compared to the Front Range.

Pot sales started Jan. 1 in Denver, and people lined up before dawn to purchase their first bags of legal marijuana.

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Where can you smoke it?

Steamboat Springs residents should have a much easier time than tourists in finding a place to legally smoke marijuana.

That’s because your personal residence (if it allows smoking) and any other private property or residence that permit smoking are essentially the only legal places to do it.

That includes balconies and porches on private property.

But if you're renting or leasing your place, you're going to have to check with the landlord about smoking and drug policies.

Smoking marijuana is prohibited in all public areas, and that includes parking lots and frontages on private property such as the stores in Central Park Drive.

“Everybody should be able to walk anywhere they have a right to be in Steamboat and not be exposed to marijuana smoke. Period,” Public Safety Director Joel Rae said.

Smoking marijuana is not allowed at Steamboat Ski Area, including in the gondola cars, at the base area and on the slopes.

And all the tourists who come to Steamboat and buy pot to smoke likely won't find many lodging properties, rented condominiums or timeshares that will allow people to smoke marijuana in them, just as they do not allow smoking cigarettes.

The Steamboat Hotel, for example, even has a sign at the check-in counter that advises guests that cigarettes and marijuana cannot be smoked there.

Holiday Inn of Steamboat Springs owner Scott Marr said smoking in the rooms has been an issue.

People who violate the hotel's non-smoking policy can face a fine of $200 for a room cleanup.

“Hopefully, it won't have any impact,” Marr said about the upcoming sale of recreational marijuana.

He said the edibles are a different story.

“From my perspective, I don't see a difference between that and having three beers in your room,” he said.

Like the Holiday Inn, The Steamboat Grand and the Sheraton Steamboat Resort also are smoke free.

It's best just to call ahead and ask the property about its rules for smoking marijuana.

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