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Med. marijuana retail ban rejected in Steamboat due to liberal, educated town, MMC owner says

A medical marijuana retail ban passed in Fort Collins this week -- but a number of municipalities rejected attempts at prohibition, including Steamboat Springs, Oak Creek and Routt County, which encompasses them. Why the difference? Here's what Ryan Fisher, co-owner of Steamboat's Rocky Mountain Remedies, told us.

"A lot of it has to do with the fact that this is a very liberal and educated community," Fisher says. "People here don't buy into the conjecture and the lies that the opposition likes to tout."

Rocky Mountain Remedies opened in August 2009, riding one of the earliest waves pushed by the dispensary boom. Did this longevity pay dividends when it came time to vote? Or did campaigning by personnel at the center -- one of three in Steamboat, joined by two more Routt County dispensaries, in Oak Creek and Milner, respectively -- turn the tide?

rocky mountain remedies grow.jpg
A Rocky Mountain Remedies crop.
"It was a little of both," Fisher says. "We definitely did a lot of campaigning. My partner gave talks at the local Rotary meeting, the Kiwanis Club, a meeting of Routt County Democrats, and there was a candidate forum at the community center that we took part in. That kind of thing gets picked up in the local paper, so readers can see we are intelligent guys and businessmen, and we're just trying to run a legitimate business."

In addition, Rocky Mountain Remedies is affiliated with the Medical Marijuana Industry Group, which Fisher credits with helping out with the campaign as well.

Even so, staffers' longtime Steamboat residency may have been the most beneficial factor. As Fisher notes, "Myself and the other owner and our girlfriends make up the four core people in our business, and we have twenty-something employees -- and most of us have been here for over a decade. In fact, some have been here for close to thirty years. So people know us from working regular jobs and being members of the community, and we know most of them. It's a pretty small place, and we wouldn't have taken on this venture if we thought the town would be completely opposed to us. But with our experience of living here, we went for it, and I think our reputation preceded us."

Not every town in the vicinity has embraced MMJ. Take Yampah, which is about thirty minutes from Steamboat, by Fisher's estimate. "They have something like 150 people living there, and they don't have any dispensaries -- but they voted to ban them anyway," he says.

As for the Steamboat vote, "it gives me a little more reassurance" that Rocky Mountain Remedies will be around for the long haul, Fisher maintains. "I wouldn't say I'm 100 percent confident that we'll be here for twenty years" -- the federal approach to marijuana continues to concern him -- "but it certainly gives us hope."

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More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana: Red card wait times increasing?"

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16 comments
Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Under State HB1284, these localities can continue to bring bans up for a vote every election cycle.

Monkey
Monkey

Good for you! Your indicas look good too, like seeing those fat pots. If you're truly concerned with Federal involvement I would not allow the media to print your name and pictures of your plants, seems the ones who get popped are the ones easiest for DEA to find.

Crazy Horse
Crazy Horse

Ft. Collins: many of you felt their was a  problem with sick patients getting medicine while paying taxes to your community. ok, now you will have sick patients who will still get their medicine from whomever(see street dealers, caregivers, are grow their own).

it has happened in los angeles where the storefronts were closed and the street dealers said thank you for giving us a customer base already coming to a location, and we pay no taxes.

you will not stop the people from getting what they want. you took an ant hill that was paying you, and have turned it into a snakes pit, that won't be paying you except from your tax dollars spent on manpower from your local law enforcement arresting these individuals who will continue to do what they want.

somebody is profiting up in the Fort...bet on that!

Colorado Mmj Patient
Colorado Mmj Patient

This is a great point:

"People here don't buy into the conjecture and the lies that the opposition likes to tout."

Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith, EX Fort Collins Mayor Ray Martinez, & members of Concerned FC Citizens spread lie after lie about cannabis. I don't know how those people can live with themselves after spewing all that bull, which they KNOW is FALSE. 

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

Here's some marijuana photos for you http://marijuanaphotos.co fuck the feds they can put this in their pipe and smoke it.  No matter how many they jail there will always be plenty of ganja for all in the great pot State of Colorado.

Instntkrma
Instntkrma

Fort Collins is podunk. They said its about family values but the alcohol flows like water up in the fort with the blessing of everyone. Ray's is ignorant of the truth because he thinks god loves him more now for making it harder for the kids to get. The joke is on him because the need for blackmarket weed in Fort Collins is about to go up, and with that the supply WILL COME! And no red cards or ids are checked. here's your sour-d johnny! And hey - if you are up in the fort take some advice - if you grow your six plants at home you and your family will NEVER have to buy weed again. You can get started with some cheap gear. see craigslist!

Quadrophinc
Quadrophinc

they dont just live with themselves they love themselves

Monkey
Monkey

Nice! Popping a bunch of seeds, good man. Not a fan of some of the breeders you choose but they look good. I'm a big fan of the garden over a farm, allot of my friends went from really good growers to "ok" warehouse employees. They grow good buds so they get hired for good money but that quality can never be reproduced on a commercial scale and they quit or get fired and go back to the old days. People follow good buds not mmj center coupons. Overgrow the government and let the best bud win.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

Yes you are absolutely correct, thanks for being so knowledgable. Centennial is worse than Mexi.

Monkey
Monkey

I thought chocolope and LA was DNA genetics, purple wreck is Reserva, but their all the same people right. Guess this is not appropriate for the comment section but I've grown both the chocolope and the LA plus the sharksbreath, recon and kushberry from them but grew bored of them all over time. The "breeders" I was referring to were the local strains, not happy with anything from them.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

I really love Reserva Privada seed bank!  That's where Purple Wreck, Chocolope, and this year's cannabis cup winner LA Confidential come from!  Give em a chance...

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