(Frederic J. Brown, AFP/Getty Images)

Voters: Retail pot shops will stay in Manitou Springs

Manitou Springs is keeping its recreational pot shop.

While some Manitou Springs residents wanted to make the decision on their town’s hosting recreational marijuana shops themselves, most of the residents in the southern Colorado mountain town agreed with the city council that first allowed the pot shops inside city limits in the first place.

Manitou’s Ballot Question 2G, which proposed shuttering recreational marijuana shops in the town, failed in Tuesday’s election — and now Maggie’s Farm, El Paso County’s lone recreational pot shop, will remain open with the option of another shop joining them in the recreational space.

“We’ve done everything we could to make responsible regulation work, and we’ve proven it so far, and it’ll continue to work,” Alan Delwiche, co-chair of the No on 2G campaign, told The Cannabist late Tuesday. “This vote was consistent with how our votes have been on marijuana since 2006 — it’s looking like it’ll be 60/40 or 65/35 percent in favor of ending prohibiton.”

In Tuesday’s election, yes votes meant recreational marijuana shops will be prohibited in Manitou Springs, and no votes meant they would be allowed. At the moment of publication, more than 62 percent had voted no on 2G, according to election results.

Yes on 2G’s Kari Kilroy was disappointed, if relieved it was over, on Tuesday night.

“My goal was, number one, for us to be able to vote on this, so we achieved that,” Kilroy told The Cannabist. “My second goal we didn’t achieve, but the town has voted, and if that’s what the majority thinks then who am I to say it should be different?

“Either way we have resolution.”

The initiative caught statewide and even national interest because it represented the first Colorado community allowing recreational marijuana sales reconsidering its decision. An Oct. 1 editorial in The Gazette, from nearby Colorado Springs, encouraged the passing of the initiative and the repeal of recreational sales: “The Gazette strongly urge a “yes” vote on 2G. Let Manitou be Manitou. A town so rich in assets has no need to pander to the empty promises of recreational pot.”

But Delwiche called the editorial “one more fear-based scare tactic. They project a bunch of fears, that the military might leave, that soldiers wouldn’t go to Manitou, that we might lose defense contractors — but none of it’s true. None of this is happening. It was business as usual for The Gazette.”