Several new marijuana joints in the pipeline

A year after Glenwood Springs saw its first retail recreational marijuana outlet, and with the summer tourist season just around the corner, several new businesses are positioning themselves to enter the local market.

City Council last week heard conceptual plans for a new 16,483-square-foot marijuana cultivation facility and retail store at 2150 Devereux Road.

A forthcoming development application would be subject to public hearings before the Glenwood Planning & Zoning Commission, likely in late May, and before City Council after that. If approved, it would be operated by a group of Basalt and Aspen-area entrepreneurs going by the name Osiris LLC.

The proposed Osiris location is just down the street from the existing Green Dragon/Green Essentials growing operation, medical marijuana dispensary and retail store at 1420 Devereux Road.

Glenwood Springs limits marijuana cultivation to the city’s only industrial zone district, which generally runs along the south side of Devereux Road.

Meanwhile, the owners of Green Dragon/Green Essentials are now looking to open a second retail outlet downtown for sales to those age 21 and older. It would include a marijuana edibles kitchen, called “Grand Edibles,” and be located at 919 Grand Ave. where the Bayou Restaurant used to be.

They will be before the city’s liquor and marijuana license hearing officer on May 13, as will another retail applicant, Recreational Releaf Dispensary Bar, which proposes to open shop at the former Green Essentials medical dispensary location at 404 10th St.

Meanwhile, two additional retail recreational marijuana outlets have applied for city licensing, and are likely to be scheduled for hearings in July, according to city officials.

The Cannabist Castle Supermarket & Dispensary Lounge proposes to open shop at 818 Grand, current home to the Grand Avenue Sweets candy store, which plans to move next week to the former Florindo’s space at 721 Grand.

And Martin’s Naturals, which has operated a medical marijuana dispensary at 216 Sixth St. for several years, has also applied for a license to begin selling recreational marijuana to the 21-plus crowd.

The latest maneuvering among new and existing marijuana businesses comes as the anniversary nears for Glenwood’s first retail marijuana outlet.

Greenwerkz opened on South Glen Avenue on May 8, 2014, four months after Colorado began allowing retail sales under Amendment 64, which voters approved in 2012. That was soon followed by the Green Joint at 1030 Grand and the Green Dragon.

The flurry of new retail license activity and plans for what would be the city’s second cultivation operation isn’t surprising to Jeff Kennedy, manager at the Green Dragon.

“I think it’s a testament to people doing a good job running these businesses,” he said.

“For us, we look at it as the more the merrier,” Kennedy said. “Next year we could be looking at a couple more, or a couple less, just depending on how everybody conducts their business. Glenwood Springs is a great town to do business in, always has been, and we want to be a part of that.”

Kennedy said the new downtown store would be in addition to the Devereux Road sales location.

“This is a good location for us, with people passing by on the highway, and it’s more discreet for people who don’t want to go to a downtown shop,” Kennedy said. “But we’re serving two different groups, and feel like we’re missing some of the foot traffic that you get downtown.”

As for the new Osiris facility, it’s proposed to include three greenhouses totaling 8,744 square feet, a 909-square-foot retail and office space and related facilities, according to project planner Randy Wedum.

Principals of the company are listed as longtime Aspen lawyer Spencer Schiffer; Michael Gurtman, who presently owns the Meatball Shack restaurant and has managed marijuana businesses; and Richard Rosin, an Aspen real estate developer.

One initial concern that came up during council’s conceptual review last week was that of odor, which has plagued other marijuana cultivation operations in the upper Roaring Fork Valley.

Because of the location away from residential areas, however, and through the use of a different type of ventilation system, Gurtman said that shouldn’t be a problem at the Devereux location.

Some City Council members have talked about expanding marijuana cultivation into other areas, but for now it remains limited to the industrial zone.

Marijuana businesses are also required by city ordinance to be at least 500 feet away from existing public or private schools, with 325 feet separation from other retail or medical marijuana businesses. Hours of operation are limited to between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., although City Council has said it is willing to consider amending the regulations to extend business hours until 10 p.m.

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