VAIL — This town has long taken a cautious approach to legal marijuana sale and use. The approach will continue in the wake of a pair of new state laws.
Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger on Tuesday asked the Vail Town Council to consider drafting a pair of new ordinances in response to laws passed in 2019 by the Colorado Legislature. One law allows communities to permit delivery services. The other makes exceptions to the ban on “public consumption” of marijuana on private property that’s visible from public areas.
A memo from Henninger recommends that the town adopt specific rules banning delivery services and tightening up the prohibition of consumption on private property.
The memo notes that the town “regularly receives complaints about open smoking of marijuana in private (but publicly observable) locations like balconies above Bridge Street and other lodging properties, and in backyards.”
Keeping it family-friendly
Previous Vail councils have already banned the sale of medical and recreational marijuana in town, citing the town’s reputation as a family-friendly resort.
Henninger noted that it would be difficult to enforce rules regarding marijuana delivery services.
“It’s difficult enough for us to explain the current laws,” he said.
Mayor Dave Chapin and other council members wondered what the difference is between marijuana delivery and liquor delivery.
But, Chapin noted, some dispensaries offer services to pick up clients. And, he added, van services and concierges will sometimes take clients to dispensaries, several of which are just a few minutes’ drive from Vail on EagleVail’s “Green Mile.”
But, Chapin added, he’s leery of the idea of further restricting what people can and can’t do on private property.
Councilman Brian Stockmar said he’s heard complaints about people smoking on balconies above Bridge Street.
“A lot of people don’t want to see it or smell it,” Stockmar said. “It’s disturbing to people who don’t want to smell it.”
Councilman Travis Coggin noted the same is true with the smell of cigarette smoke. But, he added, both products are legal.
While people smoked marijuana on Vail Mountain long before state voters legalized its use in 2012, Councilwoman Jen Mason asked if the town and Vail Resorts could work together to limit public use.
Henninger noted that the current “Let’s Be Blunt” campaign includes Vail Resorts.
While pondering what to do, council members ultimately decided to take a wait-and-see approach to deliveries and public use, and will watch how other resort communities adapt to the new legislation.
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at email@example.com or 970-748-2930.