Retail addition to downtown Glenwood Springs pot shop OK’d | PostIndependent.com

Retail addition to downtown Glenwood Springs pot shop OK’d

Green Natural Solutions in downtown Glenwood Springs, a medical marijuana shop, is seeking a city license for recreational pot sales.

Glenwood Springs City Council Thursday night unanimously approved a special-use permit for Green Natural Solutions to expand from serving medical marijuana customers only and provide retail sales for recreational consumers as well.

"They've met the code, and they have had a business down there for quite some time, and have done so responsibly," City Councilman Todd Leahy observed before putting forward the motion to approve the new use for the business at 716 Grand Ave.

Green Naturals has been the city's last medical-only marijuana establishment, and was one of the first marijuana businesses to open in the entire Roaring Fork Valley in October 2009, three years before recreational marijuana use and sales became legal in Colorado under Amendment 64.

Medical marijuana became legal in Colorado in 2000, but dispensaries didn't begin opening until several years later after the state legislature put rules and regulations in place.

The plan for Green Naturals, according to owner Shalynn Hofert, is to reconfigure the interior of the 1,450-square-foot store to have separate areas for medical and recreational sales, per state law. State inspectors are scheduled to visit the location on March 30, after which the business will open to recreational sales, she informed council.

"We are here to exercise our business right to expand into retail," Hofert said. "My husband and I are active and involved, and we do care about the downtown face of Glenwood … and we don't want to make our neighbors mad."

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Among the conditions in approving the new permit is one related to any odor complaints that might be levied against the shop. If any complaints are found to be valid, the city can re-evaluate and potentially revoke the permit.

"Most of the odor issues come with cultivation, and we will have no cultivation at this facility," Hofert assured. "By the time it comes to the store it's dried, packaged and sealed, so there are no open containers."

In any case, the ventilation system allows no air transfer to the outside of the building, she said.

The expanded business conforms with Glenwood's new, more stringent setback requirements that were approved in 2015 after the city's original marijuana regulations were revised. They require that marijuana businesses be located at least 900 feet apart, and at least 500 feet away from K-12 schools.

According to city planner Trent Hyatt, Green Naturals is situated 922.6 feet away from the next nearest marijuana shop, Martin's Naturals, at Sixth and Grand, and more than 800 feet away from the nearest school, Glenwood Springs Elementary School.

No members of the public spoke during the public hearing Thursday night.

The city's Planning and Zoning Commission voted 6-1 after a Feb. 21 hearing to recommend that the permit be approved, with conditions. City Council approved the permit on a 5-0 vote, with council members Leo McKinney and Stephen Bershenyi absent.

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