Trinidad cannabis industry booms in 2017

TRINIDAD, Colo. - For a relatively small town, the size of Trinidad's marijuana industry is huge.


Twenty-one recreational marijuana dispensaries dot the city's streets. And those stores generated almost $3 million in sales tax last year.


"When we were projecting the budget, I think we projected the income for '17 for $600,000. I don't even know how many times we adjusted (it)," said Greg Sund, Trinidad's City Manager.


That breaks down to about $3,000 per man, woman and child living in Las Animas County. It's the highest per capita sales tax rate in the state.


"We're targeting it to things that we haven't been able to do for a long time, that we just haven't had the money to do," Sund said.


Sund said he believes a lot of the sales are coming in from out of state and you can tell by just whose coming into the parking lot.


"It's a mix of tourism and locals to be honest. There's a lot of tourism from New Mexico, Texas, basically the states around us that aren't legal at this point," said Suzi Blackwell the manager of Strawberry Fields in Trinidad.


Blackwell said they make sure the customers from out of town understand the laws.


"We don't even engage in the conversation about going over state lines. We actually give our customers a really well done brochure that says all the laws," Blackwell said.


There's no way to know if those laws are followed, but for now -- the city manager said the money is a great asset.


He only hopes the federal government doesn't clamp down before the city can diversify its economy.

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