Letter: Marijuana makes good neighbors

This letter is in response to the concerns voiced in the letter to the editor from Monday, May 11.

First, I would like to address the misconception that marijuana stores make bad neighbors and have a negative impact on surrounding businesses. During our time at three different locations in Glenwood Springs, we have encountered similar fears and objections that proved to be unwarranted once the business opened.

When we opened our Aspen store in the Tom Thumb building on the Hyman Avenue Mall, several of the current tenants objected to our being there. When we moved across the mall to a larger space, the same tenants were sad to see us go, citing increased foot traffic and business, and actually requested that the landlord consider only renting to another marijuana store. The reason we left one of our locations in GWS was because the landlord was OK with a medical store but not a retail one. That same location is now one of the stores applying for a retail marijuana license.

Secondly, it is worth noting that the space at 919 Grand Ave. is located in the proper zoning district, not in a residential neighborhood. This is a perfect location for a small retail store and commercial kitchen, and exactly where the city legislated this type of use. The retail store would be less than 1,000 square feet.

The kitchen would be of similar size, consisting of a minimum amount of equipment, much less than was used in this space by the previous restaurant owners. The type of infusion being used here would require a closed loop C02 extraction machine, which produces no smoke or fumes. It is a cold, nonflammable process that does not cook or heat the cannabis in any way. The cooking process will not involve the decarboxylating, or cooking of raw cannabis, which is a process that produces significant odors.

The closed loop-produced oil will be added to the edibles. The building will not be damaged in any way, and the walls and ceilings will be brought up to commercial code standards. It is worth noting that all of our deposits from our previous store locations were returned in full. This kitchen will be subject to inspection by state health inspectors, as well as a Marijuana Enforcement Division-selected industrial hygienist. The kitchen will be vented by a hood system through the second story roof of the building and equipped with an ozone filter.

The claim that odors will permeate the building and hurt business are simply untrue. This is a small commercial kitchen set up for our retail stores, not a large scale manufacturing operation. The kitchen and store will operate during regular business hours, and probably increase the exposure that the Vaudeville enjoys, if that isn’t happening already. At the very least, it will give them fresh fodder for their shows, which are often very funny, but not always exactly kid-friendly.

Ron Radtke

owner, Green Essentials LLC, dba Green Dragon Colorado

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