Just seven years ago, the town of Sedgwick, Colorado was about to give up completely.
With the economy struggling and weeds growing out of abandoned gutters, the place was like a ghost town. The residents held a meeting to decide whether to incorporate their town.
But then, things started to change. The town passed a medical marijuana dispensary ordinance in 2010. The state’s voters approved Colorado Amendment 64, legalizing possession and growing pot for recreational use. They allowed the Sedgwick Alternative Relief to expand into the recreational trade.
At first, older residents were skeptical and critical of marijuana’s place in their beloved town. But as dispensaries created jobs and tax revenue went up, there was no denying that legal weed helped save Sedgwick. It’s even created tourism and return visitor revenue.
Sedgwick, a town that grew out of wheat and sugar beet farming, incorporated in 1908. It recently began building a museum on Main Avenue to celebrate its history and the history of the West. And town officials and business owners hope to expand on Sedgwick’s annual Harvest Festival and car show and add more events to attract visitors. But most important, Sedgwick residents want to grow the burg into a place where people will raise a family and stay. “We’re not looking for giant growth,” Owens said. “But we’re looking to keep our young people here and have a place where they can thrive.
They’ve come far and they’re not done growing yet: At the end of 2016, Sedgwick passed an ordinance repealing its previous retail marijuana regulations. They’ll also expand to allow even more cultivation facilities.