Glenwood Springs heralds in era of legalized pot |

Glenwood Springs heralds in era of legalized pot

Joseph Esquibel, right, makes the first official recreational marijuana sale in Glenwood Springs in May 2014 at Greenwerkz. Clayton Maxfield of Colorado Springs made the purchase.
Christopher Mullen / Post Independent |

Clayton Maxfield said he just happened to stop for gas while driving through Glenwood Springs Thursday morning when he scored a bonus purchase next door.

“I asked if there was any place in town to buy some [recreational marijuana], and they said this place was just opening today,” Maxfield, a Colorado Springs resident who was just passing through the area, said as he made the very first recreational purchase at the Greenwerkz shop in south Glenwood.

“I’ve just been out road tripping and visiting some of the mountain scenery,” he said. “I guess it was just meant to be.

“From my experience here, this store is a lot more personable than some of the ones I’ve been to in Denver,” Maxfield said.

Unlike the first marijuana shop in the Roaring Fork Valley to open for recreational sales back in January, the Doctor’s Garden in Carbondale, there were no lines outside the door before the 10 a.m. opening at Greenwerkz.

But the early business was steady, as customers from the lower end of the valley and points west and east along the Interstate 70 corridor were able to avoid the drive up Highway 82 to the other area shops that offer recreational marijuana sales.

Greenwerkz, located at 2922 S. Glen Ave. (Highway 82), is the first shop in Glenwood Springs to be allowed to sell to both registered medical marijuana patients and recreational customers age 21 and over.

Under Colorado’s Amendment 64, which legalized adult possession of marijuana for recreational use and paved the way for regulated retail sales, existing medical marijuana dispensaries were allowed to be the first to offer recreational sales until later this year.

Possession of limited amounts of marijuana for medical purposes has been legal in Colorado since 2000.

Greenwerkz has medical and recreational locations in Denver and Edgewater, and earned approval from Glenwood Springs city officials late last month for recreational sales here. The operation’s cultivation facilities are located in the Denver area.

What would be Glenwood’s second recreational sales location, Green Essentials on Devereux Road, is awaiting approval of its city license, possibly by today, which would be 30 days from its formal license hearing.

Calina Vigil of Parachute said she was having as much fun just checking out what all Greenwerkz had to offer in its display cases as shopping for some weed or one of the many edibles, tinctures, balms and accessories the store has to offer.

“We tried to check out the Carbondale shop when it opened, but it was too busy, and we didn’t end up buying anything,” Vigil said. “This one is easier to get to.”

Greenwerkz carries several varieties of Indica, Sativa and hybrid marijuana strains with names like Cheesequake, Blue Dream, Mob Boss, Lavender Jones and Lemon Skunk.

The store is now separated, with registered medical patients steered to the back area and recreational customers to a newly refurbished second display and sales room.

Medical patients could buy product from the retail side, which has a few more products to offer, but they’d pay more tax. Marijuana for recreational purchase is taxed by the state at a higher rate, 29 percent not including local sales taxes, than for medical purposes.

Prices listed on the medical side of the store at Greenwerkz are post-tax, while the prices in the retail store are pre-tax.

David Bollish of Gunnison said he checks for fragrance and appearance mostly in picking out one of the many varieties of buds.

“Whatever I’m feeling at the moment,” he offered as he perused the options at Greenwerkz Thursday.

Bollish also happened to be passing through Glenwood Springs when he and a friend stopped by Greenwerkz, but he’s hoping voters in his own town of Gunnison will overturn a current ban on recreational sales. The question is headed for the ballot, he said.

“Colorado is paving the way,” Bollish said. “I hope to see more states following suit. I think it’s just a matter of time.”

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