Sweet Leaf Pioneer eyes April 19 retail marijuana launch

After four years, four elections and many, many hours of public hearings, retail marijuana sales in Eagle are slated to start Saturday, April 19.

Next Monday promises to be a big day for Dave and Dieneka Manzanares of the Sweet Leaf Pioneer in Eagle.

“The State of Colorado is releasing our retail license on April 14,” said Dieneka. If all goes as planned, the operation will be the first retail marijuana business to open in the Eagle Valley and the tentative opening date for Sweet Leaf’s retail sales is Saturday, April 19.

Once the operation opens, it will feature very limited hours for the next few months. As Dieneka explained, there is a 70/30 rule in place through October which stipulates that Sweet Leaf can only sell 30 percent of what it currently distributes through its existing medical marijuana dispensary. Additionally, the operation must grow 70 percent of the product it sells.

“It puts us in the position of having very limited product,” she said. “Right now we are only going to be open on Saturdays.”

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“We figure we will be the first mom and pop shop in the state to run a retail operation like this,” Dieneka continued.

The Sweet Leaf retail shop will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays at its location in the Eagle Technical Center, located at 1286 Chambers Avenue. While they have a 700 square foot retail space rented, the Sweet Leaf crew has a lot of work to complete before opening the business. Dieneka noted required cameras have been installed and the work ahead includes building display areas and computer stations.

“We have a lot of work to do. We need to pound it out,” she said.

The town of Eagle approved the Sweet Leaf retail special use earlier this year in a split vote. However, one of the town’s stipulations required a state license before the business could begin retail sales. The state’s retail marijuana licensing process has been backlogged, but the Mazanareses have been notified they can pick up their state license paperwork on Monday.

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