Pot boom revitalizes the tiny town of Dinosaur, Colorado: ‘There’s money running out of our ears’ – Fortune

There isn’t much to this town a short drive from the national monument of the same name. A couple of gas stations, a liquor store, and a small motel line the two main drags, Brontosaurus Boulevard and Stegosaurus Freeway.

But this community of about 315 and its four marijuana dispensaries — one shop for every 79 residents — is a contender for the title of cannabis capital of Colorado.

Dinosaur, nestled in the northwestern corner of the state, is a five-minute drive to the Utah line and a couple of hours away from Wyoming, both states where recreational marijuana use is illegal.

Dinosaur lies at the intersection of U.S. Highway 40 (that’s Brontosaurus Boulevard) and Colorado Highway 64 (Stegosaurus Freeway). The crossroads had long been a stop where truckers filled their fuel tanks and their bellies. But until weed came to town, there was little to sustain the local economy.

It’s a classic story of a border town prospering from differing laws state to state, and how arbitrary lines drawn through a desolate landscape drive economic patterns. Coloradans from Dinosaur cross the border to get groceries and health care. Utahans come to Dinosaur for lottery tickets, liquor, and pot.

The four cannabis stores, which opened

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