Since Fort Collins lifted the ban on retail marijuana this summer, the city has heard little from the community, in opposition or otherwise.
“It has really been remarkably quiet,” said Councilman Ross Cunniff of District 5. “Pretty much we’ve adopted the regulations, started implementing them and moved forward.”
According to Cunniff, there have been just a few citizens who have voiced their concerns recently at city council meetings. Most feedback Cunniff has received personally has been positive.
“I haven’t had anybody who has talked to me who is concerned with it,” Cunniff said. “Some people over the past couple months approach me and say that they’re glad that we’re enabling retail operations in Fort Collins.”
Positive feedback has also been seen at Organic Alternatives, the first retail dispensary to open in Fort Collins.
“The only complaint is that we don’t have enough,” said Kaipos Sabas, supervisor at Organic Alternatives. “Stuff does not live on the shelf whatsoever. The demand for this product is really mind-blowing.”
Being the only retail supplier within city limits for several months, Organic Alternatives continues to sell out of retail cannabis and some brands of retail edibles. They have sold retail cannabis in some form to people from every state in the United States and to people in more than 50 countries, according to Sabas.
“Literally any kind of person you can think of, we’ve had them in here and that’s the coolest part of all this,” Sabas said. “I just saw two 80-year-old women walking with their canes and arm in arm coming in the shop.”
The few concerns from the public are the same as the ones before the ban was lifted, according to Cunniff. Primarily, the concerns are still over the safety and increased access to youth that retail marijuana, and especially edibles, presents.
The safety concern people have regarding edibles is rooted in overmedication caused by a lack of education and accountability, according to Genifer Murray, founder and director of CannLabs, an analytics company that tests cannabis flower and products for potency, pesticides, residual solvent and microbials.
“I am happy to educate people because it is new, but eventually it’s about accountability,” Murray said. “You always have to take anything that alters your normal sense very seriously. It is safe, as long as it’s used appropriately.”
While overmedication can cause a bad experience, there have been no documented cases of death caused by a THC overdose. And the City of Fort Collins has received no evidence that has made the current council consider overturning the current laws and regulations.
“Nobody has really brought any significant evidence of a major problem that we need to fix by increasing the tightness of the regulations,” Cunniff said.