Marijuana

City's eighth pot dispensary on deck

April 9, 2016 — 

The former owner of The Meatball Shack has submitted an application to open the city’s eighth recreational marijuana dispensary in the downtown core.

Michael Gurtman, who shut down The Meatball Shack last month after four and a half years, said the new dispensary, if approved by the state and city, will be called “Best Day Ever,” and will be located on the second floor of the same building on Cooper Avenue that houses the Silverpeak Apothecary dispensary.

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Pitkin County approves outdoor pot 'experiment'

March 23, 2016 — 

A majority of Pitkin County commissioners voted Wednesday to allow an already-permitted indoor marijuana facility to grow as many as 250 plants outdoors this summer.

Commissioners termed the deal a “one-year experiment” with the owners of Stash marijuana dispensary in Aspen, and they placed conditions on it, including the installation of a driveway camera on the property, keeping aesthetics in mind when building a fence around the outdoor grow and capping the number of outside plants at 250.

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Pitkin County denies pot edibles manufacturing business

March 23, 2016 — 

Pitkin County commissioners on Wednesday denied a local woman’s application to open a kitchen at the Aspen Business Center that would have manufactured marijuana-infused edibles.

“The (marijuana) legalization train left the station at a good clip, and I’m not sure our communities have caught up,” said Commissioner Rachel Richards. “The messaging is this isn’t a drug. This isn’t serious. It’s just a piece of candy.”

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Pitkin County officials discuss marijuana edibles

March 15, 2016 — 

Pitkin County commissioners are concerned about how marijuana edibles might be manufactured and marketed in their own backyard, as well as how they can be kept from children.

Commissioners hosted a far-ranging discussion Tuesday that was prompted by an application for a kitchen at the Aspen Business Center that would produce marijuana edibles if the board approves. Participants included those who work with youth, health officials, law enforcement and environmental health officials.

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Aspen pot shop robber faces up to 12 years in prison

March 7, 2016 — 

The 22-year-old man who robbed an Aspen marijuana dispensary with a hammer in July pleaded guilty Monday to three felonies and faces between four and 12 years in prison when he is sentenced next month.

As part of a plea deal, Hayden May pleaded guilty to robbery, theft and aggravated motor-vehicle theft. There is no deal on sentencing, which will occur April 18.

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Aspen pot sales top $8.3 million in 2015

March 3, 2016 — 

The seven marijuana dispensaries in Aspen sold more than $8.3 million worth of medical and recreational pot during 2015, according to statistics from the city’s Finance Department.

“That’s an incredible number,” said Aspen Assistant Police Chief Bill Linn. “That’s impressive.”

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Commissioners want more info on pot business

February 24, 2016 — 

Pitkin County commissioners want more information about a business that wants to produce marijuana bubblegum at the Aspen Business Center before deciding on whether to approve its license.

And not only does the county need more information about whether exhaust fans were properly installed, whether a child care business is nearby the proposed location and how waste will be disposed, at least two commissioners want general input from the community about any concerns.

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Marijuana farm passes the first smell inspection

February 10, 2016 — 

When it comes to marijuana odors coming out of a Basalt-area grow operation, the real proof the problem has been fixed will come this summer.

That was the consensus Tuesday from both Pitkin County commissioners and two neighbors who live in the Holland Hills subdivision near High Valley Farms. Meanwhile, commissioners will continue to hold quarterly meetings to review the odor problem.

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New retail marijuana shop opens in Eagle-Vail

January 20, 2016 — 

EAGLE-VAIL — A new recreational marijuana shop, High Country Healing, has opened on the “Green Mile” along U.S. Highway 6.

The shop will hold a grand opening celebration Jan. 22 with food, live music and specials throughout the store. Together with a local development company, the shop is next to the Route 6 Café in Eagle-Vail.

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Aspen post office box yields green surprise

January 7, 2016 — 

The former owner of Johnny McGuire’s Deli received a surprise Thursday when he showed up to collect his mail at the Aspen post office.

The man, who hadn’t been to his post office box in four months, found an envelope in his stack of mail that caught his attention, said Aspen Police Detective Jeff Fain. The envelope had been destined for someone in Ireland and was sent Aug. 17, but the person who sent it neglected to fill out the return address, he said.

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Can the pot industry one day rival skiing?

January 20, 2016 — 

EAGLE COUNTY — Skiing is king in the Vail Valley — always has been. But will it always be so?

Winter sports will probably always dominate the Vail Valley’s economy. Despite years of effort, the town of Vail collects about 70 percent of its annual sales taxes during the ski season. That could change in the future, and perhaps the near future.

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Alleged pot grower to stand trial

December 23, 2015 — 

A 37-year-old Crystal River Valley man will stand trial on charges of growing and distributing marijuana, manufacturing marijuana concentrate and child abuse, a District Court judge decided Tuesday.

Richard Fanguy was arrested after Pitkin County Sheriff’s deputies searched his home Aug. 27, located off Highway 133 between Carbondale and Redstone, and found 12.2 pounds of marijuana, more than 100 marijuana plants and equipment to turn marijuana into concentrate, sometimes called hashish.

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Aspen marijuana dispensaries seize holiday business

December 26, 2014 — 

The greeter at the new Green Dragon location on the Hyman Avenue pedestrian mall checks IDs and bounces his head to the music playing. Inside, the budtenders, as they’re called, field a wide range of questions. “How much does a vaporizer cost?” “Why’s the Super Joint more expensive than the other ones?”

It’s a bit more low-key a few blocks away at the new Leaf Aspen location, where an upbeat Cally Shadowshot beams about the store’s signature products and its homegrown marijuana supply of 40 pounds that’s being cultivated for the dispensary’s inventory.

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Aspen and Colorado marketers legally restricted from marketing marijuana

December 14, 2015 — 

A recent study showed that 6.8 percent of visitors said legal marijuana was their driving force to vacation in Colorado, but both state and Aspen tourism officials have no plans to market the state for its pot.

“We operate on Forest Service land, so you do the math,” said Christian Knapp, vice president of marketing for Aspen Skiing Co.

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Change in ownership looms for Aspen marijuana dispensary

December 7, 2015 — 

Alternative Medical Solutions, one of downtown Aspen’s seven recreational cannabis dispensaries, is set to change ownership for $382,000.

Steamboat Springs resident Kenneth Porteous is scheduled to appear Wednesday before the Local Licensing Authority regarding his application to buy the business, located upstairs at 106 S. Mill St.

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Council upholds license approvals for Osiris pot grow

November 19, 2015 — 

The last of a series of marijuana business applications to go through the former city of Glenwood Springs licensing review process before new rules were enacted this summer got the green light to proceed from City Council Thursday night.

Council voted 6-1 to uphold city licensing officer Angela Roff’s decision last month to grant licenses for Osiris LLC to operate a cultivation, manufacturing and retail marijuana sales facility at 2150 Devereux Road.

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Chamber, library file joint appeal of pot shop OK

October 16, 2015 — 

The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association and Garfield County Public Library District have teamed up to appeal the recent city decision to grant a license for a new downtown marijuana shop.

The chamber and library boards on Friday issued an appeal to Glenwood Springs City Council regarding license hearing officer Angela Roff’s Oct. 9 decision to approve the Kind Castle retail marijuana store at 818 Grand Ave.

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Denver warning issued over Aspen pot capsules

September 29, 2015 — 

Concerns over the manufacturing process prompted a Denver health agency on Friday to warn consumers about a marijuana-related edible product made in Aspen.

The Denver Department of Environmental Health removed Rx Green’s Autopilots Omega 3 & THC capsules from the shelves of Denver dispensaries and destroyed them, said Danica Lee, the department’s food safety section manager. The agency warned consumers to destroy any of the product made before Sept. 17, according to a statement.

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High Valley Farms lives to grow another year

September 23, 2015 — 

Jordan Lewis said he was “literally betting the farm” on his pot-growing facility near Basalt. The gamble paid off — for the time being at least.

Pitkin County commissioners voted 4-1 Wednesday to renew separate, one-year licenses for High Valley Farms, which is co-owned by Lewis and is the cannabis supplier to Silverpeak Apothecary in Aspen and other marijuana dispensaries in Colorado.

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Shops expect big crowds for tax holiday

September 13, 2015 — 

EAGLE COUNTY — Marijuana enthusiasts can add one more holiday to their calendars. On Sept. 16, recreational pot will be sold without state-added taxes.

Those taxes were approved by voters in 2013, a year after the state approved a constitutional amendment legalizing the possession and retail sale of marijuana for recreational purposes. Since revenue has exceeded projections in the ballot measure, refunds are being given in the form of a one-day price break.

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Council gives final OK to new pot business rules

August 22, 2015 — 

The city of Glenwood Springs has completed new rules for marijuana businesses, including the addition of a special-use review and hearing process, and an expanded 900-foot setback between retail pot shops and related businesses.

City Council on Thursday approved the amended ordinance without any further discussion or public comment. The issue was aired during an Aug. 6 public hearing when council agreed to the new rules on first reading.

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Approval granted for Green Dragon to change hands

August 12, 2015 — 

A Denver-based cannabis company that already owns a retail and medical marijuana operation in Glenwood Springs won local approval Wednesday to acquire the Green Dragon’s local holdings.

Greenwerkz already received approval in May from Aspen’s licensing authority for a transfer of ownership involving the Green Dragon retail store and medical dispensary in Aspen.

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Basalt-area marijuana farm's license in peril

August 11, 2015 — 

In a highly charged meeting Tuesday, Pitkin County commissioners told the owners of High Valley Farms, a marijuana grow facility that debuted last year, that its license is in serious peril because of its chronic stench.

The meeting was the latest in a series of county commissioner work sessions over the smell wafting from High Valley Farms, located in the Basalt area. And each time, Jordan Lewis, co-owner of the greenhouses, has assured commissioners and neighbors the stench will be eradicated. The neighbors also have been making repeated claims that the odor hasn’t gone away, continually and negatively impacting their lifestyle.

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Aspen Pot shop robber faces decades in prison, held on $100,000 cash bond

August 11, 2015 — 

The 21-year-old Aspen man charged with robbing a local marijuana dispensary last month is back in town and facing decades in prison for his crime spree.

Hayden May appeared in District Court in Aspen on Tuesday, where District Judge Gail Nichols ordered him held on a $100,000 cash or surety bond.

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Glenwood moves to toughen pot shop rules

August 9, 2015 — 

New marijuana businesses in Glenwood Springs will face a special planning review to make sure the proposed location is suitable, and will have to be separated by at least 900 feet.

Those are the new rules that won initial approval Thursday night on a 6-1 vote by Glenwood Springs City Council.

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Glenwood moves to toughen pot shop rules

August 7, 2015 — 

New marijuana businesses in Glenwood Springs will face a special planning review to make sure the proposed location is suitable, and will have to be separated by at least 900 feet.

Those are the new rules that won initial approval Thursday night on a 6-1 vote by Glenwood Springs City Council.

Council’s action, which will be considered on second and final reading Aug. 20, would amend the city’s retail and medical marijuana codes, adding the new land-use review and revised setback provisions.

Under the new special permit process, public hearings would be held before the Glenwood Planning and Zoning Commission for recommendation, but City Council would hold the final decision.

The location permit and license to do business would be dealt with as part of the same application, city attorney Karl Hanlon explained.

The more discretionary permit process would replace the current process of having the city license hearing officer review new retail and medical marijuana establishments. Annual license renewals would still be handled by the hearing officer.

Currently, only marijuana cultivation facilities, which are limited to the city’s single industrial zone district along Devereux Road, must go through a land-use hearing process.

In addition, council agreed to increase the required setback between marijuana stores or dispensaries, cultivation and manufacturing facilities from 325 feet under the current rules to 900 feet.

That change would allow all existing marijuana businesses in Glenwood Springs to continue as is and keep the door open for new establishments in the fringes of town, but would effectively prevent any new shops in the downtown core.

ADDRESSING PUBLIC CONCERNS

That was one of the concerns expressed by the public and other downtown business owners when council decided in late May to impose a 90-day moratorium on new license applications while the regulations were reviewed.

Council looked at three options for code revisions before settling on the greater setback and combined new review process.

“I think we would be setting ourselves up for what happened the last time if we don’t combine them,” Councilman Todd Leahy said in reference to a lengthy July 2 hearing when council upheld on appeal license hearing officer Angela Roff’s rejection of two retail license applications.

That meeting dragged on until 1:30 a.m., well past council’s usual 11 p.m. curfew.

“I don’t want to have a repeat of that,” Leahy said. “This does add another layer of bureaucracy, but it gives the town what it’s looking for.”

Council opted to reject a third option that would have banned new marijuana businesses altogether within the Downtown Development Authority boundaries, and render three existing businesses in that area as non-conforming.

One of those businesses would be the Green Joint retail store and Green Medicine Wellness medical dispensary located at 11th and Grand; a prospect that owner Dan Sullivan said was “not an option.”

‘UNACCEPTABLE’

While existing businesses can continue even if they don’t conform to newly adopted rules, any sale of the business or major modification to the premises would not be allowed.

“We have six years of blood, sweat and tears in this business, and to then face the possibility that we would not have a business? That’s unacceptable,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan also lobbied for the city to separately consider imposing an extra local sales or excise tax on recreational marijuana sales to help generate new revenues for the city. Any local tax on the marijuana trade would require a city vote at a regular election.

Council members reiterated that was not their intention in revisiting the rules to put existing businesses at risk.

“This is a really good option, and gives us discretion in what goes where while considering the needs of the neighborhood,” Councilwoman Kathryn Trauger said.

“I also like that it’s legally defensible,” she said of a concern that has been expressed about the current marijuana license application and review process.

Councilman Matt Steckler objected to including the new permit review and voted against the amended ordinance, but said he could go along with the greater setback provision.

Council set to weigh pot rule revisions

August 6, 2015 — 

A ban on new marijuana businesses in the downtown core, a special permit review that would involve the city’s planning commission and a greatly increased 900-foot setback between shops are among options before Glenwood Springs City Council this Thursday.

The options were among the ideas discussed at a council work session in early July regarding possible revisions to the city’s existing licensing and land-use regulations for retail and medical marijuana businesses.

Council is set to consider on first reading an amended ordinance making one or more of the various rules changes that have since been refined by city staff, according to Community Development Director Andrew McGregor.

A change in the required distance between marijuana establishments from the existing setback of 325 feet is the one rules fix that gained the most support from council after it imposed a 90-day moratorium on new marijuana license and land-use applications in late May.

The moratorium was in response to public concerns about a proliferation of new retail marijuana license applications in the downtown area between Sixth and 10th streets.

A change to 900 feet in the minimum setback from one business to another would allow existing facilities to remain, but would preclude any new businesses in the downtown area, McGregor said in a memo to council for the Thursday meeting.

“No existing uses would be rendered nonconforming,” he said of one of the concerns expressed by council members in changing the rules with businesses already in place.

One proposed new retail shop at 818 Grand Ave. that is slated for a license hearing next month would, however, be nonconforming if it gets approved, he said.

Changing the setback has its pluses in achieving council’s goals, McGregor indicated, by maintaining the status quo in the downtown area and north Glenwood while keeping opportunities open for south and west Glenwood areas.

The other two options up for consideration, including a ban on any marijuana businesses within the designated boundaries of the Downtown Development Authority, or a full special-use permit review for new proposals, would be far more limiting.

A ban in the downtown core would render several existing businesses, including two medical marijuana dispensaries and the Green Joint/Green Medicine Wellness retail and medical facility, as nonconforming.

That would mean they may not be allowed a license renewal or transfer of ownership if any major changes are made to the respective businesses.

“This option might have merit if there is a perception that marijuana sales are not compatible with our most concentrated tourist and hospitality area of the city,” McGregor wrote in his memo.

A special-use permit for marijuana businesses would add an extra, more discretionary layer of regulatory review through a formal public hearing process, he noted.

Such a permit would have to be considered by the city’s planning and zoning commission, whose decision could be appealed to City Council.

Though a more public process that is “legally defensible,” and one used by numerous other communities in Colorado that have allowed sales of retail marijuana, it does increase the time and cost needed for new businesses to gain their approvals, McGregor noted.

“It does become a discretionary process, thus reducing certainty and predictability on behalf of the prospective business owner,” he said in his memo.

When the moratorium on new marijuana licenses was put in place, council decided not to have it apply to pending applications, several of which were already in the pipeline at the time.

Since then, two new license requests, including one that would have included a marijuana edibles kitchen, have been denied by the city’s license hearing official. Those decisions were upheld on appeal by City Council in early July.

One other new retail license decision is expected this week, and two additional applications that were already in process are pending formal hearings on Aug. 12 and Sept. 9.

Charges piling up on alleged robber of Aspen marijuana shop

July 31, 2015 — 

The man suspected of robbing a Aspen marijuana dispensary with a hammer Tuesday led officers on a high-speed chase when they tried to pull him over west of St. Louis on Wednesday night, then crashed head-on into a police car, according to a statement.

Hayden May, 21, then refused to get out of the black 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe he stole from his former employer in Aspen, prompting a St. Louis police officer to use his baton to break the window before arresting him, the statement from the St. Louis County Police Department says.

The police officer in the car who was hit head-on was taken to a local hospital for treatment of a minor neck injury, said Sgt. Brian Schellman of the St. Louis County Police Department.

May will face charges of assault on a police officer and resisting arrest in St. Louis, Schellman said Thursday.

That means it will likely be a relatively lengthy period of time before he returns to Aspen to face felony armed robbery, felony theft and other charges for the pot shop robbery and the car theft, said Blair Flickinger, Aspen police spokeswoman.

May allegedly entered Stash marijuana dispensary, located at 710 E. Durant Ave., at about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, waited for other customers to leave, then pulled out a hammer, apologized to two employees for being “desperate” and loaded several jars of marijuana worth $11,000 into a garbage bag and fled, according to police and the shop’s owner.

Aspen police searched for him on the east end of town and communicated with his family members in an effort to get him to turn himself in by 5 p.m. Wednesday. Both efforts, however, failed and police issued a warrant for his arrest.

He was last seen at about 3 a.m. Wednesday near Difficult Campground east of Aspen, police said.

Then, at about 8 p.m. Wednesday, the black Tahoe with Colorado license plates was spotted heading east on Interstate 70 west of St. Louis near the town of St. Charles, according to the statement from St. Louis police. He was found using cellphone tracking technology, according to Aspen police.

An officer pulled him over west of the intersection of I-70 and I-170 — just south of Ferguson, Missouri — and ordered him out of the car, the statement says.

May declined to exit the Tahoe, then took off at a high rate of speed and headed south on I-170, where he drove as fast as 100 mph as police gave chase. He drove several miles on the interstate before exiting and heading southeast through city streets near the city of Pagedale, while also getting caught on a dead-end street and turning around, the St. Louis police statement says.

After that, May struck a parked car, then drove straight toward a police car from the city of Edmundson and hit it head-on before running into an electrical pole and finally stopping, according to the statement.

Officers commanded May to exit the vehicle, though he again declined. An officer then used his police baton to smash the driver’s side window and ordered May out. This time he complied, and was arrested without further incident and was not injured, according to the statement.

Three large glass jars of marijuana plus a black plastic bag containing more marijuana were recovered from the vehicle May was driving, Schellman said.

The Chevrolet Tahoe was stolen from the McSkimming neighborhood east of Aspen and belonged to May’s former employer, according to Aspen police.

St. Louis police were advised that May might have been armed with a .45-caliber handgun, though Aspen police said Thursday the gun was not recovered after May was arrested. May was named a suspect in a firearm theft reported Wednesday to the Snowmass Village Police Department, Aspen police said in a statement.

Sgt. Dave Heivly of the Snowmass Village Police Department said Thursday that the .45 caliber, semi-automatic handgun was stolen Tuesday night and reported to Snowmass Village police Wednesday. The person who reported the theft said he was taking care of it for the gun’s owner and is, at least, an acquaintance of May’s, Heivly said.

Both the owner of the handgun and the person who was taking care of it work at Stash dispensary, he said. The owner of the gun was one of the two employees working at the shop when May robbed it, Heivly said.

Snowmass Village police have no proof that May stole the gun but are treating him as a suspect because of the connections involved, he said.

“It’s just a strong feeling,” Heivly said. “We have nothing concrete.”

It is unclear exactly where May, a Georgia native, was living in the Aspen area. Aspen police have him listed as “transient” and have no address on file for him, Flickinger said.

An Aspen friend of May’s, who requested anonymity, said May never worked at a local smokeshop, contrary to another source cited by The Aspen Times on Wednesday, and that he worked in property management.

The friend said he knew May for about a year and described him as a “nice kid.” He said May loved his dog, Bosco, enjoyed smoking marijuana and didn’t drink alcohol.

“He was a normal kid,” the friend said. “He was a rapper, and he was actually pretty good for a white boy.”

The friend said he and other of May’s friends are “in shock” over the robbery.

“We just can’t believe it,” he said.

He said he last heard from May about a month ago, when May texted the friend and said “something weird” the friend couldn’t remember.

“The last text I sent him was ‘Are you OK?’” the friend said. “I didn’t hear back from him.”

jauslander@aspentimes.com

Marijuana shop(s) cited for selling to minors

July 31, 2015 — 

State authorities cited two Aspen marijuana dispensaries earlier this week for selling pot to a minor, sources said Thursday.

None of those sources, however, was the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, which said only that it had conducted compliance checks Monday in Aspen.

But Josh Ginsberg, CEO of Native Roots Colorado, was more forthcoming.

“(A) Native Roots Aspen employee sold retail marijuana to an undercover Marijuana Enforcement Division agent who was under 21 years of age,” Ginsberg wrote Thursday in an email to The Aspen Times. “Saying that I’m appalled and outraged by this act would be an understatement.”

Multiple sources said Alternative Medical Solutions was the other dispensary cited. A message left Thursday at Alternative Medical Solutions seeking comment about a citation was returned by Aspen attorney Lauren Maytin, who said the dispensary’s owners had no comment.

Ginsberg said his company parted ways with Native Roots employee who sold the marijuana and the store manager, because his company, which operates a chain of dispensaries in Colorado, “has zero tolerance for such reckless behavior.” The store manager said quit on his own volition.

Ginsberg said his employees are extensively trained to check customers’ identification twice and use sophisticated scanners to detect fake IDs.

“I am personally embarrassed by this event and want the community to know that it is absolutely not indicative of the manner in which Native Roots conducts business,” Ginsberg said in the email. “Swift and companywide action will be taken to ensure that this isolated incident is never repeated.”

Assistant Aspen Police Chief Bill Linn said though he’s had no official word state authorities were in town, he heard they were here. He said he also heard two dispensaries “failed,” though he didn’t know which ones.

Specific information as to who was cited and where the citations were issued will be available when the infractions are eventually filed in Pitkin County Court.

Thomas Moore, a spokesman for the Marijuana Enforcement Division, said in an email Thursday that the results of Monday’s compliance checks are part of an ongoing investigation and that no further information would be released.

Linn said that while he didn’t know specifics about the marijuana compliance checks, he did know that the Department of Revenue conducted alcohol compliance checks Wednesday in Aspen at a number of establishments and none sold to minors.

jauslander@aspentimes.com

Vail poised to ban pot

July 20, 2015 — 

VAIL — The temporary ban on retail marijuana in Vail could be permanent in a matter of weeks.

Just two weeks after the Vail Town Council passed yet another extension of a 2014 moratorium banning marijuana businesses, the council Tuesday night will consider the first reading of a permanent ban. That ban could be overturned by a future town council.

While 2012’s Amendment 64 legalized recreational use and sale of marijuana, the amendment gives towns and counties the ability to impose bans on retail operations. Several towns and counties have taken that step. Locally, retail operations are allowed in unincorporated Eagle County and the town of Eagle. Sales are allowed in Red Cliff, but there have been no applications there.

On the other hand, the amendment passed by significant margins throughout the state. Eagle County voters passed Amendment 64 with roughly 66 percent of the vote.

Vail Town Council member Margaret Rogers has more than once noted a greater percentage of Vail voters cast ballots for Amendment 64 than Eagle County did.

Rogers has also asked for information about how marijuana sales are working in other resort communities. At this point, Vail is the only major ski-resort town in the state that bans retail operations.

IN FAVOR OF THE BAN

However, most people who have addressed the town council on the topic favor banning retail sales and growing operations. There also seems to be a growing council opinion favoring a ban. Mayor Andy Daly and council member Ludwig Kurz have long advocated a permanent ban.

At the July 7 council meeting, council member Dave Chapin proposed a permanent ban, which turned into the request for the ordinance to be heard this week.

The town’s business community seems to favor a ban.

Alison Wadey is the director of the Vail Chamber & Business Association. That group recently conducted a survey to learn what business owners and managers think about retail marijuana in town.

Wadey said 160 surveys were sent out, and 86 were returned. Of those, a majority, but not an overwhelming majority, favored a ban.

“People who weren’t for it had some pretty compelling reasons why (marijuana) shouldn’t be allowed,” Wadey said. Arguments against allowing retail sales in town included a desire to keep Vail ‘classy’ and the belief that the town might lose more customers than it would gain if retail sales were allowed. Wadey said other comments encouraged town officials to not simply follow the example set by other resort towns.

“They’re telling us we need to make a decision based on what’s best for Vail,” Wadey said.

Wadey added that there are several retail stores operating in Eagle-Vail, just a short drive from Vail, so marijuana is easily accessible for guests.

NO SMOKING ACCOMMODATIONS

Even with relatively easy availability, there’s still the issue of where guests or residents can smoke marijuana.

Wadey said lodges in town are sticking to their no-smoking policies, whether people want to smoke a cigar or a joint.

Mike Connolly is the general manager of Triumph Mountain Properties, which manages several vacation rentals in Vail agreed with Wadey that Vail probably doesn’t need retail marijuana sales.

But, he said, a lot of guests coming to Vail ask about the availability of marijuana.

“It’s now become as common to us as whether we can stock a house with groceries or liquor,” Connolly said.

Responding to that interest, Connolly said his company has included information about marijuana in all the concierge books in all its vacation rental properties. In addition, someone from Triumph meets the person who books a home, so that company hasn’t had to ask anyone to leave due to smoking.

“We have had to ask that people not just leave it lying around, though,” Connolly said.

Triumph especially asks for discretion about edibles, many of which come in candy or cookie form.

While all of Triumph’s vacation properties are non-smoking, Connolly said guests have so far respected that restriction.

“We ask our guests to use common sense and be respectful,” Connolly said.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, smiller@vaildaily.com or @scottnmiller.

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