Trinidad is booming from pot — but how long will it last?

 

A lot of marijuana is being sold in Las Animas County — the most per capita in the state, in fact.

According to a recent report from the Colorado Department of Revenue, the county near the New Mexico-Colorado border sold $43.9 million worth of recreational cannabis last year. That’s more than neighboring Pueblo County, which has been dubbed by some the Napa Valley of pot.

Greg Sund, Trinidad’s city manager, told the Cannabist the city is having to constantly re-evaluate how much it’s expecting to get in revenue from recreational marijuana sales.

And with those sales has come other economic development. The publication reports hotel stays are up as well.

But this isn’t the first time Trinidad and Las Animas County have seem booms. The southern Colorado town was a coal town and just like during coal’s heyday, Trinidad officials say they know they can’t ride the wave of marijuana money forever.

Last year, PULP Newsmagazine spoke with now-former economic director Jonathan Taylor, the first ever economic development director for Las Animas County.

“Without the progressive policies of the City of Trinidad in its relationship to cannabis, Trinidad’s economy would not be as robust as it is today. So, it is the primary reason for all of this growth,” he told the monthly news organization.

And as for the future of cannabis in the county, he said it looks bright. But it’s not forever.

“It is never smart to throw all your eggs in one basket in dealing with the local economy. It is just a matter of time before New Mexico legalizes it, which will have a tremendous impact on Trinidad. However, the city has positioned itself on sustainable budgetary path,” he said. “In the short-term we are using this industry to update all of our necessary infrastructure to increase outside investments while the revenue is present.”

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