EAGLE — A Denver-based group has proposed a $5 million marijuana superstore for Eagle.
Rocky Mountain Pure Retail Marijuana would include a 6,000-square-foot retail operation and a 22,500-square-foot indoor cultivation center to support the store. The proposal was submitted in late December and was reviewed by the Eagle Planning and Zoning Commission this week. In a split vote, commission members recommended approval of the proposed operation with a number of conditions. The Eagle Town Board will have the final say regarding the proposal and the public hearing is planned Feb. 11.
“It is our intent to work in cooperation with the town of Eagle to develop Rocky Mountain Pure, the nation’s premier retail marijuana destination, on the 5-acre parcel located at 1125 Chambers,” said applicant Ethan Borg of Colorado Cannabis Co., of Denver.
Borg noted that Colorado Cannabis Co. was established in 2009 and employs 30 people in three medical marijuana centers, a commercial infused product kitchen, a commercial cannabis extraction and concentrates laboratory and 14,000 square feet of medical marijuana indoor cultivation. All of these operations are located in the City and County of Denver.
“Rocky Mountain Pure will be a destination that Coloradoans and visitors alike will come to know as the location to not only purchase the best available products, but to learn about the wonders of cannabis and the last 90 years of prohibition, to enjoy the facilities and to even gather together for a cup of coffee in our world-class botanical gardens,” said Borg.
To that aim, Rocky Mountain Pure has proposed:
6,000-square-foot retail store
22,500-square-foot indoor cultivation facility
45,000-square-foot green house operation (for export product)
3,600-square-foot extraction laboratory
12,000 square feet of “other commercial space”
3,750-square-foot “prohibition museum”
Borg said “an economic stimulus will be experienced in the town within a year. From the construction needs of a $5 million facility to the potential of generating more than $500,000 in tax revenues annually (year 5), Rocky Mountain Pure will simultaneously diversify and help to balance the economic base.”
While members of the Eagle Planning and Zoning Commission did vote 5-2 to recommend approval of the proposal to the Eagle Town Board, members attached seven conditions to their action. The very first one goes to the heart of the issue.
In its deliberations, the planning commission members noted the town board has the ability to determine the size of retail marijuana facilities in the community.
“There was a lot of discussion about the size of the proposal. Some members felt it is terribly large,” said Eagle Town Planner Tom Boni. “This whole project is something quite different for the Western Slope and the some of the commission members felt it is not in keeping with the character of the town.”
Ultimately, Boni said the commission opted not to force the size issue and to leave that decision to the town board. Additional conditions suggested by the commission for the special use permit request included requiring a major development permit for the proposal and a requirement that Rocky Mountain Pure comply with all state licensing regulations. The town of Eagle does not have its own licensing procedures for retail marijuana, but instead requires applicants to comply with the state procedures.
The Eagle Town Board is slated to conduct its first retail marijuana special use permit review next week when the community’s existing medical marijuana dispensary, Sweet Leaf Pioneer, presents its plans for a retail operation. In conjunction with the retail operation, Sweet Leaf is proposing a new cultivation facility along Marmot Lane.
This comparatively modest proposal prompted a letter from the attorney for the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, which recently opened a training facility along Chambers Avenue. Attorney John. T. DeCarlo voiced the organization’s strong opposition to the Sweet Leaf cultivation facility saying “it raises serious safety and environmental issues for young trainees who will be utilizing the training center.”
New Hope Wellness Center
While Eagle has specifically limited retail marijuana operations, cultivation operations and medical marijuana dispensaries to two such operations each until the time the community’s population reaches 10,000, an interesting mix of proposals has emerged.
Sweet Leaf Pioneer has proposed both continuation of its medical marijuana operation and the retail and cultivation expansion. The Rocky Mountain Pure proposal includes retail and cultivation. A third proposal was also presented to the Eagle Planning and Zoning Commission this week from Kim Barbieri for the New Hope Wellness Center. Barbieri operates the New Hope center currently located at Edwards.
The New Hope proposal in Eagle is for a medical marijuana and cultivation operation. The planning commission tabled action on the proposal until Feb. 4.