SALT LAKE CITY – Utah officials are wary after the first marijuana shop opened in the tiny town of Dinosaur, Colorado, just a few miles from the state line.
Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Todd Royce reminded residents of Utah, where recreational marijuana remains illegal, that they will still be charged and prosecuted if they bring the substance into Utah or consume it in the state, the Deseret News reported .
Retail and medical marijuana is sold in at least two other Colorado towns near the Utah state line – Cortez and De Beque – but neither is as close to the state’s border as Dinosaur, about 3 miles.
Dinosaur residents in 2016 voted 102-50 to authorize the establishment and operation of retail marijuana stores as well as medical marijuana centers. The ballot question also authorizes cultivation, product manufacturing and testing facilities.
Rocky Mountain Cannabis is the first of what could be four retail shops in a town of about 350 people, said Dinosaur Mayor Richard Blakley.
“I really think that this dispensary is anticipating the bulk of their retail is going to be headed Utah’s way,” Republican Utah State Rep. Scott Chew said. “You can buy it there legally. It’s no skin off the establishment’s nose if people buy it there and head to Utah. I really think a big portion of their retail is going to be headed to our state, which I have concerns about because it’s not legal in our state.”
When Rocky Mountain Cannabis opened in Dinosaur, the store owner posted signs warning customers not to cross state lines with its products, said Dinosaur Mayor Richard Blakley.
Rocky Mountain Cannabis declined to comment for this story.