Downtown medical pot shop seeks to enter retail market
Glenwood Springs’ last medical-only marijuana establishment is before City Council tonight seeking permission to begin selling legal pot on the retail market.
Green Natural Solutions at 716 Grand Ave. was one of the first marijuana shops to open in Glenwood in 2009. It has been the last holdout to cater only to medically approved patients, even after marijuana became legal for recreational use with the passage of Amendment 64 in 2012.
A requested special use permit under the city’s revised marijuana regulations would allow the business to begin operating as both a medical and retail establishment. The matter is before council for a public hearing at the regular Thursday meeting.
If approved, Green Naturals will continue to operate in the existing 1,450-square-foot space where it has sold medical cannabis products since it first opened.
In 2015, after concerns were raised about the number of marijuana shops in the downtown core, City Council amended the regulations for marijuana establishments. Among the changes were greater setbacks between marijuana businesses and a special-use permit for marijuana uses to be approved by City Council after review and recommendation from the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
P&Z voted 6-1 after a Feb. 21 hearing to recommend that the permit be approved, with conditions. Some commissioners raised questions regarding the physical appearance of the storefront and the proposed conversion to retail sales.
Among the proposed conditions is one related to odor complaints, which states that the city may “re-evaluate or revoke the special use permit” if any complaints are found to be valid and the permit can be revoked by City Council within 60 days if the owners have two municipal court violations pertaining to odors within a six-month period.
Green Naturals owner Shalynn Hofert addressed odor concerns in her January application to the city.
“Our odor has been raised as a concern once since 2009 by the neighboring businesses,” she said. “It turned out that the marijuana smell was emanating from a tenant in the (neighboring building), not our store.”
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Glenwood Springs Police have arrested former U.S. Senate candidate Mark H. Aspiri of Silt on charges of criminal extortion, ethnic intimidation harassment and theft crimes involving threats made against a local Hispanic man.