|Trinidad, Colo. (Best Places maps)|
But the effect of legal cannabis has been felt in rural areas, Todd writes. Trinidad, a struggling coal community near the New Mexico border, "has used $1.5 million in marijuana revenue to replace old infrastructure, pay down debt and help redesign a city block as studio apartments for a growing arts community."
Rural officials remain cautiously optimistic about the boon, mainly because Colorado currently has no competition from surrounding states, Todd writes. There is fear that if neighboring states legalize cannabis, "Colorado could lose its valuable status as an island of marijuana legalization in a sea of prohibition."