Glenwood medical pot dispensary wins OK to convert to rec sales
August 10, 2015
One of Glenwood Springs' established medical marijuana dispensaries will now be able to switch over to retail recreational sales, following approval from the city's licensing official.
City liquor and marijuana licensing authority hearing officer Angela Roff rendered her decision late Friday regarding a retail marijuana license for Martin's Natural Medicinals at 216 Sixth St.
The decision to approve the license follows a July 8 hearing to consider the Martin's request, after which Roff had 30 days to make her decision.
The approval also comes on the heels of her denial of two new retail marijuana licenses in downtown Glenwood Springs, which were upheld on appeal to City Council in early July.
The fact that the only opposition to the Martin's application at the July 8 hearing came from the owners and other principals of those two establishments, Green Dragon/Green Essentials, which wanted to open a second retail store and new marijuana edibles kitchen at 919 Grand Ave., and what would have been the Recreational Releaf Dispensary at 410 10th St., played into Roff's decision.
In her written decision, Roff said the argument that, because their requests were denied, every other application should also be denied, "fell flat with this hearing officer for many reasons."
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"What stands out to this hearing officer is the fact that this applicant intends to convert the existing medical marijuana business into a retail establishment," she wrote. "Thus, all of the medical business will be eliminated and replaced with retail business.
"It therefore follows that the residents are accustomed to the current establishment because it has been operating as a medical marijuana business for years now," Roff concluded.
Martin's owner Dave Martin said he was pleased with the decision, offering a hearty "semper fi," the motto for U.S. Marine pride, in honor of his pledge to cater to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
"Now, every veteran 21 and over can come here and get free counseling, and they don't have to get a (medical) license to buy affordable medication instead of taking pills," Martin said.
Martin said he intends to convert the corner store just before crossing the southbound Grand Avenue Bridge from medical-only sales to recreational sales next Monday.
Hours will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with half-day hours on Sunday, he said.
Roff's decision is consistent, in that the only retail licenses that have been approved in Glenwood Springs have been for existing medical marijuana dispensaries.
Glenwood will now have three outlets offering both medical and recreational sales, the Green Dragon/Green Essentials on Devereux Road, the Green Joint/Green Medicine Wellness at 11th and Grand, and Greenwerkz on south Glen Avenue/Highway 82.
One downtown store in the 700 block of Grand, Green Natural Solutions, continues to offer sales to registered Colorado medical patients only, and Martin's will now convert to retail sales only.
Green Dragon owner Ron Radtke had previously testified in favor of the Recreational Releaf application and other competitors at the same time his request for a second retail license and edibles kitchen was being heard.
After both of those applications were denied, and that decision was upheld by City Council, he changed his tune.
"You denied my application because city needs had been met," Radtke said at the July 8 hearing. "Subsequently, I would like you and the city to honor the wishes of the city's inhabitants."
Radtke could not be reached Monday for comment on the Martin's decision.
This Wednesday afternoon, Roff is slated to hear a transfer of ownership request from Green Dragon/Green Essentials to be sold to Greenwerkz. That hearing is to begin at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the municipal courtroom at City Hall.
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