Opinions differ on dispensaries in Minturn | VailDaily.com

Opinions differ on dispensaries in Minturn

Sarah Mausolf
Vail, CO Colorado

MINTURN, Colorado – Legalize it.

That’s how some people feel about pot shops in Minturn.

“We need the tax revenue in Minturn,” resident Bill Horak he said. “It would probably get more tax revenue than any other business in Minturn.”

That’s one reason why Horak, 48, plans to vote in favor of allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in town. Minturn residents will see the issue on the November ballot.

Horak thinks medical marijuana has a place in Minturn as long as the shop is discrete.

“You don’t want to have a flashing sign out there,” Horak said. “You don’t want the storefront to be such that it’s promoting it (marijuana) to children.”

Some people in town aren’t sold on the idea.

Resident Dan Matney, 56, said he’s aware of situations where people are abusing medical marijuana.

“I want to be open minded to medical uses but I think it’s not being regulated well enough yet,” he said.

Matney, a pastor for New Life Assembly of God Church in Avon, plans to vote against the dispensaries. He questions whether the town has the resources to regulate them.

“Do we have enough law enforcement and enough manpower for code inspections to make sure it’s being used only for legitimate purposes?” he said.

Other people are worried about the customers dispensaries could attract.

“Scuzbags,” Lewis Neskimen said.

Neskimen, 68, owns a janitorial company in the Meadow Mountain Business Park. He’s heard about armed robberies at dispensaries in Denver and doesn’t want that kind of trouble in the business park.

“I think it would bring in too many elements I don’t want here,” he said.

Elsewhere in the business park, Nicole Dais welcomes the idea of pot shops. She owns The Sole Man shoe repair.

“I think everybody would end up getting a lot more business from the foot traffic that would come through,” she said.

In fact, Dais said her store is for sale and she would be open to selling it to a dispensary.

“They can open it right here and I’ll even work here,” she said.

Likewise, a number of Minturn residents are comfortable with the idea of dispensaries in town.

“It’s ridiculous that it’s still illegal to smoke marijuana,” Matte Owls said.

The 27-year-old bartender said some people in town think the dispensaries will draw seedy people, but they have the wrong idea about the market.

“I think pretty much everybody smokes weed,” he said. “It’s not that big of a deal anymore.”

Fellow Minturn resident Curtis Groth, 51, said he has a medical marijuana card for pain in his knee and shoulder. He currently drives to a dispensary in Eagle-Vail.

“It’s not that far but it would be a lot more convenient just having one in town,” he said.

Minturn could become the second town in Eagle County to approve dispensaries. The town of Eagle OK’d them while Avon, Gypsum and Vail banned them. Eagle County plans to put the issue to a citizens’ vote in November.

Staff Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.

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