COLORADO: You can buy a Budweiser in Vail. You can smoke a bud, as in the flowering portion of a cannabis plant, in the privacy of your own home. But buy a bud, shatter, wax or chocolate chip cookies infused with THC, the psychoactive agent in cannabis?
Not yet. And perhaps not ever. Unlike some other ski towns in Colorado, which have chosen to treat marijuana similar to alcohol in important ways, Vail has been deeply ambivalent about allowing sales. Almost everybody would agree that attitudes toward cannabis use have rapidly changed, and many people would agree that it’s for the better that the economy of cannabis has been brought above ground.
But what is the effect on the “brand” of Vail? That’s been the question in recent weeks as elected officials mull whether to allow sales. It’s a question that Whistler could someday also face, given the trend toward legalization in North America. After all, “super, natural British Columbia,” as the tourism slogan goes, is located between Washington state and Alaska, and both have now legalized sales for recreational use.