CEO ‘blown away’ as Parachute pioneers drive-thru pot
PARACHUTE — Tumbleweed marijuana store in Parachute is celebrating the opening of its drive-through operation today. Here’s a peek at the scene:
Camera crews from the “Today Show” and other national programs came out to tour the store and jump in the first cars to go through the drive-thru as the small town got a big boost on Thursday.
“I didn’t set out thinking this would be national news,” CEO Mark Smith said. “I didn’t have some big epiphany. I just saw a need for our customers.”
A steady flow of cars lined the block for hours after the grand opening to be some of the first customers to buy from the state’s first drive-thru dispensary.
“It’s pretty cool to see a drive-thru here seeing as how Grand Junction doesn’t have any recreation marijuana,” said Evan Eastham, who arrived from Grand Junction nearly two hours before the opening.
“I would have come earlier, but I didn’t want to sit in my car that long,” said Deanna Seitz, Parachute resident who is excited to see what the publicity from Tumbleweed will do for her town. “It’s like having Disney Land open. I think for a lot of people that didn’t know where Parachute was before, this will help put the town on the map.”
The original Tumbleweed store opened in Parachute in February 2016 and has since expanded to Edwards, Eagle-Vail, Frisco and beyond.
It will be the first recreational marijuana shop to have cars actually pull into the building, thereby complying with state marijuana laws.
“As far as I can tell we are not aware of this business model ever coming up before,” Robert Goulding, spokesman for the Marijuana Enforcement Division, told the Post Independent. “It will have to follow all the rules and regulations that apply to every dispensary.”
Goulding specifically pointed to three rules that regulators made sure the Tumbleweed would follow. The first is that nobody younger than 21 is allowed in the premises, even if they are in the backseat of the car.
The second is a requirement for security and surveillance at the point of sale.
The third is that no marijuana can be visible from outside the licensed premises.
“The same laws apply to the drive-thru as do the main dispensary,” Smith explained.
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Richard Miller and Allison Marcus were sentenced to 45, days in jail, 1,500 hours of useful public service and $100,000 of restitution on June 30, 2019, as their sentence for starting the Lake Christine Fire the prior year. They have made significant strides in fulfilling their debt to society, according to the district attorney’s office.