New owner keeps Green Dragon pot shop name
A Denver-based cannabis company that purchased the Green Dragon locations in Glenwood Springs and Aspen last week likes the name and logo so much it plans to bring all of its Colorado stores under the newly acquired name.
“We believe that the adoption of this name gives us a unique branding opportunity,” said Ryan Milligan, president of Greenwerkz, which opened the first retail marijuana shop in Glenwood Springs last year on South Glen Avenue shortly before the Green Dragon and another operator, the Green Joint, won their approvals to open shop.
All three businesses had operated as medical marijuana dispensaries prior to state voter approval of Amendment 64 in 2012, which opened the door to legalizing marijuana for recreational sales.
The reported $8 million purchase of the Green Dragon by Greenwerkz includes a 16,000-square-foot marijuana cultivation facility and adjoining retail store and medical dispensary at 1420 Devereux Road in Glenwood Springs.
“By having two stores on both sides of town, we are effectively able to serve the entire Glenwood Springs market and the surrounding cities in the valley,” Milligan said in a news release.
Greenwerkz now has five stores in Colorado, including locations in Denver and Edgewater. The deal also included the Green Dragon retail and medical dispensary in downtown Aspen that was started by founding owner Ron Radtke.
The buyout did result in the layoff and subsequent rehiring of some of the former Green Dragon’s 30 or so employees. Milligan said some of those employees were not asked back.
“We did have to make some difficult decisions, as anyone has to do in a business acquisition,” Milligan told the Post Independent. “We are a rapidly expanding company, so that’s not to say we couldn’t take a second look at some of those people.”
Renovations are under way at the Devereux Road location, and Milligan said he expects the store to reopen soon. The Aspen store has already seen some modifications and has reopened, he said.
The South Glen store also underwent some renovations recently, including the installation of a new “bud bar,” or customer counter, same as the one at Greenwerkz’s new flagship store in Denver.
“Customers can see and smell product via an innovative and safe delivery system before they buy,” Milligan said in the release.
With the new Glenwood and Aspen acquisitions, he said customers can also expect additional product options, including high-Cannabidiol, low THC bud. The new Green Dragon is looking at other expansion opportunities in the state as well, Milligan said.
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UPDATE: Both westbound lanes and one eastbound lane of Interstate 70, according to a 12:20 a.m. update from Garfield County.