Marijuana dispensary to open in Basalt |

Marijuana dispensary to open in Basalt

Carolyn Sackariason Aspen Times file photo

BASALT, Colorado – The Roaring Fork Valley’s second medical marijuana dispensary is set to begin operating next week out of the WIN Health Institute, an alternative health care cooperative located in Basalt.

“We will be one of the few [dispensaries] that will be fully medically based,” said Dr. Dave Jensen, a chiropractor who founded the WIN Institute with his wife, Dee, last year.

Located on Valley Road, the WIN Institute is an integrated health care cooperative, offering chiropractic care, physical therapy, acupuncture, Digital X-Ray and MRI diagnostics, heart screening, holistic dentistry, a spa, gym and yoga center.

Jensen said he expects the dispensary to open for business Aug. 10 as part of the Doctors Health Care Cooperative. An on-site store already sells a variety of herbs, vitamins, nutritional supplements and natural foods.

“We’re really just adding to the menu of what we already offer,” Jensen said. “It’s just like another medical herb in that sense.”

And, as with its other products, he said the medical marijuana the WIN Institute obtains for qualified patients will be organically grown without pesticides.

Dr. John Hughes, an osteopathic doctor who works out of the WIN Institute, is available to assist patients with a qualifying medical condition to apply for a card to be on the state’s official medical marijuana patient registry.

“We have everything in-house,” Jensen said. “We call it a one-stop wellness center, and this is just one more service we can offer.”

The WIN Institute will be the second medical marijuana dispensary operating in the area. Colorado Mountain Dispensary (C.M.D.) opened for business in Carbondale in early July. In addition to seeing patients by appointment, C.M.D. has a delivery service.

Jensen said he was waiting to make his final decision until after the Colorado State Health Board ruled on a proposal to impose a five-patient limit on medical marijuana suppliers. The proposal was rejected on a 6-3 vote after a 12-hour long hearing July 20.

“Without the limitations on caregivers, it makes it easier to incorporate it into our approach,” he said. “We will do all the proper filings and documentation in accordance with state laws. It is more of an ideal situation for us, because we can be one of the first ones to market it correctly, and create some legitimacy to the whole aspect.”

Under Colorado’s medical marijuana law, approved by voters as Amendment 20 in 2000, patients with certain conditions, including HIV, muscle spasms and chronic pain, can use medical marijuana as long as they get a doctor’s approval and register with the state.

The law permits patients or their designated caregivers to grow up to six marijuana plants or possess two ounces of usable marijuana.

“As a health center, we do advocate that people don’t smoke it but vaporize it or ingest it as medicine,” Jensen said.

A variety of edible forms will be offered, including 10 different strains of marijuana for different types of medical conditions, he said.

Jensen acknowledged that the addition of the medical marijuana dispensary will help with the Institute’s cash flow situation after the multimillion-dollar facility that houses the Institute recently went into foreclosure. Jensen said that situation is being resolved on several fronts.

“We have had some new investors step up, and we are looking better in that regard,” he said. “The businesses internally are all doing really well.”

In September, the WIN Institute plans to open up a second branch of its health supplies store in Aspen, and a Glenwood Springs location is possible later this fall, Jensen said.

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