How 6 Colorado towns voted on allowing recreational marijuana sales

Every Colorado voter encountered a marijuana-related issue on their ballot in 2021.

Statewide, voters said no to Proposition 119, a proposed increase to the state’s retail marijuana sales tax that would have helped fund out-of-school learning efforts. In Denver, voters rejected Initiated Ordinance 300, which would have raised the city’s marijuana sales tax rate by 1.5%.

Colorado legalized marijuana for medical use in 2000 and recreational use in 2012, but laws in each city and county vary. On this year’s ballot, six cities or towns voted on allowing recreational cannabis sales. Those locations ranged from some of Denver’s biggest suburbs to places out on the plains.

Westminster and Lamar are likely to allow dispensaries based on current vote tallies, while Mead, Brighton and Wellington struck down such measures. The vote in Golden was still too close to call Thursday morning.

In Westminster, 53% of the vote favored passing 3K, which would allow the operation of marijuana businesses in the city. However, under the ballot measures crafted by City Council, the marijuana businesses could only come to town if Westminster voters approved a second measure creating a sales tax of 5% on pot. Voters struck down the second measure by a thin margin, meaning it may be some time before marijuana is sold in Westminster.

With 85% of precincts reporting in Lamar, Question 2B has 54% of votes. If passed, 2B would allow the establishment and operation of medical and retail marijuana businesses and products to be permitted in the city. Another issue in Lamar regarding a proposed extra sales tax on recreational marijuana sales and wholesale transactions is also in the lead.

Question 2A in Golden, which would authorize a limited number of retail marijuana stores in the city, was separated by just 53 votes as of Thursday morning. Those few dozen voters currently have the issue swayed toward passing. Golden voters also cast their ballots for a 6% special sales tax on pot sales.

Notably, Brighton remains one of the few municipalities in the metro area that does not allow pot sales.

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