Paul James: Opportunity missed daily
I work as the manager of the Craig Apothecary, and have for almost four years. We remain a medical only dispensary, whereas both Craig and Moffat County have not allowed the retail sales, cultivation or manufacture of cannabis products. Since the passing of the 64th amendment to the state constitution I have turned away thousands of customers, sending them instead to Steamboat Springs, where recreational sale of cannabis is allowed. While there, the customers will also eat and shop at local businesses, and, no doubt, purchase gasoline, many go to the bars and surely find other places to spend their money. Not only did Craig and Moffat County opt out of receiving money from a large and growing pool specifically set aside for schools, but we are also sending money away from local businesses, particularly restaurants, bars and hotels, as I send all of these potential customers to Steamboat for recreational cannabis. If I estimate with an extremely low figure, say $1,000 per day in sales since recreational cannabis sales were legalized, the tax revenue would be at least $112,000 and as I pointed out previously, this would open our county up to receive a good amount of money for our school district. I have discussed the amount of money that our community is missing out on before, and have since let the matter go. I’m bringing it up again because every single day for the past two weeks, the number of people I have been sending to Steamboat to spend their money has tripled. I have never had even close to the amount of phone calls nor people stopping into the shop looking for recreational cannabis. Yet each person who stops in I have to regretfully send to Steamboat to generate more revenue for the town 50 miles away. There is of no doubt in my mind that the decision to not allow recreational cannabis sales in our community is hurting much more than the Craig Apothecary, and it is becoming much more apparent with each passing day.