Residents of Manitou Springs sit in on a City Council meeting Tuesday night to discuss the sale of recreational pot in their community. Tuesday's vote was the first of two before council members make their final decision.
With the start of the new year came legalized pot--and the huge lines that followed.
Customers flocked to stores throughout the state in areas that approved recreational pot sales. One shop in Pueblo County alone saw thousands of people in those first few days.
Now Manitou Springs is deciding whether to cash in.
A proposal to allow recreational marijuana sales in Manitou Springs got preliminary approval from the city council by a 6-1 vote on Jan. 7. City council members will make a final vote on the proposal Tuesday night.
If the vote passes--and it's highly expected that it will--Manitou Springs would become the first city in El Paso County to allow recreational pot shops. The proposed ordinance would allow two retail stores in the city limits.
Some residents 11 News spoke with after the first vote said they were concerned their small community wouldn't be able to handle the high demand for pot. Others believed the marijuana sales tax will help boost their plagued economy, which took a major hit following several floods over the summer.
"With recreational (sales) comes munchies and we're a restaurant so we would really like to get business from that as well," Sahara Café assistant manager Antonio Black said. "(We) would like to keep the tourism funneled through here instead of elsewhere in the state."
"There's a lot of (marijuana) that already goes on here so the fact that it would be recreationally sold, I don't think would cause any additional problems. Might as will sell it and make some money off of it," The Loop restaurant bartender Ben Clagett said.
The town is one step closer to legalizing recreational pot after the first vote, but residents will have to wait until Tuesday for the second--and deciding--vote.
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