Derek Franz

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March 13, 2013
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Marijuana dispensary encounters odd speed bump

The Sweet Leaf Pioneer recently had to overcome a strange hurdle due to its unique business.

The medical marijuana dispensary at 1286 Chambers Ave. in Eagle had to completely move out of its rented space between Feb. 27 and March 1.

The building was under foreclosure and the bank couldn't close on a deal with the new owner while a marijuana business was in the building.

"It had to do with FDIC insurance stipulations," said Sweet Leaf owner Dienika Manzanares. "Until the federal laws change (regarding marijuana), the banks really have their hands tied. We had a fire sale to clear out as much product as we could before closing that Wednesday night. We moved everything out, and then we moved back in and reopened Friday evening."

Despite that challenge, things worked out in favor of the business.

"We doubled our retail space and signed a two-year lease with the new owner," Manzanares said.

She said the town of Eagle was very cooperative during the ordeal.

"The town was helpful for this - we just had to have open communication the whole time," she said.

The Sweet Leaf had to fight the town to stay open when Eagle Town Board decided to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in 2011. The Sweet Leaf has been permitted to do business in town since 2009 and had to petition the town for a special election that came out in favor of the Sweet Leaf in January 2012.

With the passage of Amendment 64, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for people over 21 in Colorado, Manzanares hopes to convert the medical dispensary into a retail store.

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The VailDaily Updated Mar 13, 2013 03:14PM Published Mar 13, 2013 01:20PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.