~ by Dr. John Jones~
Every year during late April (April 20), cannabis enthusiasts from around the globe flock to Colorado to celebrate the official “Stoner Holiday” known as 4:20.
The holiday is gingerly named after the specific time that a group of students in California would gather to consume cannabis and search for a mythical field of marijuana. It has become the single largest marijuana event worldwide, and it’s no different in the Colorado Springs area.
Considering that Colorado Springs and many of the surrounding front range communities have opted not to allow sales of recreational marijuana, huge crowds were still found at Colorado Springs’ cannabis social clubs for the annual smoke out.
Gabe Piper, owner the Colorado Springs cannabis club The Pothole, stated that 2017 was the largest 4:20 to date for the Front Range area. “Our club had record attendance numbers this year. We fixed BBQ, had live entertainment, and provided our customers with a great atmosphere to consume marijuana.” stated Piper.
Statewide estimates show that April 20 provided $1.7 million dollars in tax revenue for the state of Colorado. Denver holds the largest 4:20 smoke out in the world, hosting over 50,000 people.
Colorado’s booming marijuana industry has continued in growth despite the election of Donald Trump as president. Recent elections in Colorado Springs and changes in the city council may also prove beneficial for cannabis-driven businesses such as social clubs in the near future.
For the last year, cannabis clubs have been on the radar across the area. The city of Colorado Springs placed a ban on all new clubs, and only allowing the three licenses establishments to legally operate until 2024. The Cripple Creek City Council recently decided against allowing cannabis social clubs and other marijuana recreational outlets. Elected leaders of Victor, Woodland and Teller County have also said no to cannabis clubs in previous decisions. However, these decisions can be amended.
“Cannabis clubs give people a place to come together and exercise their Amendment 64 rights and enjoy cannabis.” says Piper. “These clubs provide a honest service to the community and to the public.”
With the changing of the guard within the city council, Colorado Springs is expected to take another look at the cannabis club situation. Considering the ban on clubs passed with a 6-3 vote last April, the new leadership group now has the power to put the subject to a vote of the people.
While the cannabis club situation continues to unfold on both a state and local level, licensed membership clubs continue business as usual in Colorado Springs.