Marijuana

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.

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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.

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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.

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Government Tracker: Vail extends pot ban

July 9, 2015 — 

Board: Vail Town Council, July 7 evening meeting.

Present: Jenn Bruno, Greg Moffet, Ludwig Kurz, Mayor Andy Daly, Margaret Rogers, Dave Chapin, Dale Bugby.

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Vail extends pot moratorium

June 17, 2015 — 

VAIL — The Vail Town Council Tuesday again extended a temporary ban on retail marijuana sales in town. But the days may be numbered for the temporary ban.

Council members voted unanimously Tuesday to approve on first reading an ordinance extending the ban for another 60 days. The council will probably give final approval to the ordinance at its July 7 meeting.

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Aspen marijuana company Silverpeak expands, to address Basalt smells today (June 9)

June 9, 2015 — 

These are interesting and challenging times for Jordan Lewis, CEO of Silverpeak Apothecary, which sells both recreational and medical marijuana in Aspen.

Lewis will appear before Pitkin County commissioners today (June 9) in a work session focused on the marijuana smells that some neighbors say are wafting from High Valley Farms, the midvalley pot farm that Lewis owns and operates. The facility, which supplies the Silverpeak stores in Aspen, is located at 24359 Highway 82 in Basalt.

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Senior citizen ticked by marijuana brownie probe in Aspen

June 7, 2015 — 

Antoinette Jaworski says she enjoys baking treats for children and adults. Now getting them baked? That’s another matter, but the 84-year-old widow soon found herself caught in the hairs of a pot probe by the Aspen Police Department.

It was May 25, and Jaworksi was at a Memorial Day barbecue at the Elks Club in Aspen passing out her individually wrapped homemade goods. She soon found herself questioned by police.

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Beefer madness: pot jerky maker eyes Aspen Business Center

May 14, 2015 — 

Here’s some marijuana news to chew on: A Front Range meat-production plant has designs to ship some of its products to a location at the Aspen Business Center, where the meat will be infused with cannabis for distribution to recreational and medical marijuana dispensaries. Among its cannabis-inspired offerings: jerky, dried sausage, beef sticks, smoked salmon and chocolate-covered bacon.

One of the business’ principals, John Conlin, said Thursday that this latest marijuana incarnation is the first of its kind.

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Commissioners, attorney talk Basalt-area pot odors in private

May 14, 2015 — 

Pitkin County commissioners met privately with their attorney Wednesday to discuss their potential legal standing in the neighborhood flap over cannabis smells emitting from a Basalt-area grow facility.

Attorney John Ely could not comment about the half-hour talk but said a work session will be held for the public to chime in on the odors that originate from the High Valley Farms indoor grow center, which supplies Silverpeak Apothecary’s medical and recreational dispensaries in Aspen. The farm and the dispensaries share common ownership.

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Pitkin County commissioners aim to snuff out marijuana smell issue

May 13, 2015 — 

The apparent smell of marijuana wafting from a Basalt-area grow operation continues to linger, which has prompted Pitkin County elected officials to consider discussing the matter in executive session today.

County Commissioner George Newman brought up the stench at Tuesday’s work session. At a March meeting, neighbors of the High Valley Farms’ indoor cultivation facility said the smell has eroded their quality of life. They said the owners of the grow center, which supplies products to Silverpeak Apothecary’s medical and recreational dispensaries in Aspen, promised there wouldn’t be a smell issue when they applied for the cultivation license.

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Aspen board gives initial OK to $8 million Green Dragon sale

May 12, 2015 — 

A Denver-based cannabis company looking to purchase Aspen Green Dragon for $8 million cleared its first local hurdle Tuesday as the Local License Authority approved its change-of-ownership application.

Buyer Ryan Milligan, co-owner of Greenwerkz, said Tuesday that his company plans to purchase the entire Green Dragon operation, which includes medical and recreational licenses in Aspen and Glenwood Springs. The Aspen shop, located at 409 E. Hyman Ave., would operate as a dual medical-recreational retailer serving customers 21 and older. This would mean expansion for a company that already operates seven recreational shops and nine medical shops throughout Colorado, including a Glenwood Springs location.

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Aspen licensing authority weighs $8 million Green Dragon sale

May 11, 2015 — 

The Local Licensing Authority will weigh a change of ownership application associated with a potential $8 million sale of Aspen Green Dragon, one of six cannabis dispensers in town, at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Ryan Milligan, co-owner of Denver-based cannabis company Greenwerkz, filed the application recently with City Clerk Linda Manning. Today’s hearing, which begins at 9 a.m., represents the first set of hurdles in the potential deal with Green Dragon.

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Marijuana by the Numbers: 10 numbers about pot in Colorado that don't include 4-20

April 20, 2015 — 

Most Coloradans probably know that 4-20 — April 20 — has become the day for celebrating marijuana. Although the origin is still debated, four-twenty is probably the most popular numeric reference to pot. Rocky Mountain PBS I-News has compiled a list of less well-known figures, a paint by the numbers picture of cannabis in Colorado.

1. 71 percent

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Six in the City: Who's who in Aspen's booming recreational marijuana business

February 17, 2015 — 

Working class-Aspen residents often lament they must go downvalley or online to buy underwear and socks. Most restaurants don’t stay open past 11. The town doesn’t have a detox facility. And flying in and out of town is hardly hassle-free.

But when it comes to cannabis, Aspen has got you covered. There are more pot shops than there are liquor stores, pharmacies, supermarkets and gas stations, not to mention churches, ski mountains, hardware stores and dry cleaners.

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City audits Aspen's cannabis dispensers

February 17, 2015 — 

Aspen’s six recreational marijuana shops can each expect a visit from city officials today.

Starting at 10 a.m., Aspen’s city clerk, assistant city attorney and Police Department will conduct a compliance check to ensure dispensers are following new state regulations for edible products.

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Aspen marijuana shops gear up for X Games crowd

January 21, 2015 — 

With the Winter X Games expected to lure thousands of young adults to the Aspen area today through Sunday, most local marijuana shops are making plans for a potential retail bonanza.

On Wednesday, many dispensaries were busy stocking up on products and planning special promotions designed to lure customers. Five recreational pot stores are located in Aspen’s commercial core — Alternative Medical Solutions (or AMS), Green Dragon, Leaf, Native Roots and Silverpeak Apothecary. A sixth store, Stash, which formerly was located outside the city limits in the Aspen Business Center, opens Friday in the Durant Avenue Mall near City Market.

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Made for a woman: New cannabis spray debuts in Aspen this week

January 19, 2015 — 

When Native Roots opens its sixth Colorado recreational cannabis dispensary in Aspen this week, psychoactive products won’t be the only items on its menu. On Friday, the chain will debut its Foria product geared exclusively toward women.

Foria is a THC-infused lube that doesn’t get its users high; rather, women who apply it are purported to have a much more fulfilling and enjoyable sex experience.

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Forest Service still investigating illegal pot operations near Redstone, Ruedi

January 19, 2015 — 

Several months after the eradication of two separate illegal marijuana-growing operations on national forest in the Aspen area, the U.S. Forest Service is still trying to find the responsible parties.

No arrests have been made, but the agency said its law enforcement branch continues to investigate a case from September 2014, when a grow operation was discovered in the Fryingpan Valley, and a September 2013 case in the Crystal Valley. The agency cannot comment during active investigations on whether it suspects drug-trafficking organizations to be involved in the pot gardens, said Chris Strebig, a spokesman for the agency’s regional office in Lakewood. A source familiar with the investigations said the Fryingpan Valley grow operation in particular appeared to have ties to drug traffickers. The source wasn’t authorized to speak for the agency.

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December break-in at Aspen cannabis shop under investigation

January 13, 2015 — 

The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a burglary at the Stash recreational cannabis store, where a man apparently climbed up a construction ladder to break into the dispensary through its second-floor window.

The incident happened Dec. 17 and came up at last week’s meeting of the Local Licensing Authority, which approved the dispensary’s application to relocate from the Aspen Business Center to Durant Avenue in a commercial center next to City Market.

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City of Aspen: No current plants to revisit private marijuana club idea

January 10, 2015 — 

Despite a perceived need for social spaces dedicated to marijuana consumption, Aspen officials currently have no plans of revisiting the idea of allowing private smoke clubs in town, an official said this week.

When the idea was floated to the Aspen City Council in July, Aspen’s Community Development Department raised concerns about the exposure such clubs could bring to the town’s international profile. Officials also argued that Aspen should refrain from serving as a guinea pig, especially given the state law’s ambiguity when it comes to private smoking venues.

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Man cleared to make marijuana patches in Aspen

January 9, 2015 — 

A cannabis entrepreneur patched things up with the Local Licensing Authority at a specially called meeting Thursday, two days after the board called his character into question.

The authority voted 5-0 in approval of Joshua Meacham’s two applications for his Aspen operation: One permits the Snowmass Village man to manufacture marijuana-infused patches for recreational purposes, the other allows him to change his business address to 730 E. Cooper Ave. Meacham hasn’t started producing the patches and told the board that he’s investing $100,000 into the enterprise.

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Background issues put Aspen marijuana patches on hold

January 7, 2015 — 

The background of a Snowmass Village man aiming to manufacture cannabis-infused patches came into question Tuesday at a hearing with the Local Licensing Authority, whose members delayed reviewing his applications for an address change and for selling the products to recreational dispensaries.

Applicant Josh Meacham wasn’t at the hearing, where members of the board, which is Aspen’s governing body for establishments that sell liquor and marijuana, postponed the decision until its next monthly meeting in February. Meacham was represented by his business manager, Steve Garcia.

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As marijuana industry evolves, Aspen sellers try to shed the stoner stereotypes

January 3, 2015 — 

To some purveyors of that green, leafy and legal-in-Colorado substance — as well as its edible, drinkable and fellow byproducts — the term “pot shop” makes them cringe. You also can add “weed,” “marijuana,” “dope” and other monikers to a list of terms that makes them as uncomfortable as those opposed to the legalization of — let’s get it right, now — cannabis.

“In a certain aspect, it’s about being politically correct,” said Jesse Miller, one of the owners of the Leaf Aspen recreational dispensary. “Calling our products ‘dope’ (as a noun) is politically incorrect.”

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Can Colo. approve a water right to grow marijuana?

January 2, 2015 — 

Can Colorado issue a water right to irrigate marijuana plants when federal law still says that growing pot is a crime?

That’s the question being asked by a division engineer and a water referee in Div. 5 water court in Glenwood Springs in response to a water rights application filed by High Valley Farms, LLC.

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Marijuana-patch maker seeks relocation in Aspen

December 30, 2014 — 

Marijuana-infused-patch maker Joshua Meacham is looking to relocate his business from the space formerly occupied by Poppie’s Bistro to a basement space located below Johnny McGuire’s Deli.

His application with the city of Aspen for change of location is set for a hearing on Jan. 6. The current location is 835 W. Hallam St., and the new location is listed as 730 E. Cooper Ave., a space that formerly housed Leaf Aspen.

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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.

The more button-downed and recently remodeled Silverpeak Apothecary gives a first impression as a merchant of fine jewelry as opposed to one of recreational marijuana, but there’s no question why the shoppers are there.

And the shoebox confines of Alternative Medical Solutions serves as a temporary spot before it soon expands into its loungelike space down the hallway, where it will serve both medical and recreational customers.

Welcome to downtown Aspen’s four recreational marijuana shops, which all opened earlier this year with the legalization of recreational pot sales in Colorado. All four have either expanded their operations or relocated to higher-profile spots. This is the first week of holiday sales for the four downtown shops, where tourists have been regularly filing in either as consumers or curious onlookers.

Between both recreational and medical marijuana sales, Colorado has reaped some $60.1 million in taxes, licenses and fees from Jan. 1 through October, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue. That’s in spite of some of the state’s municipalities banning dispensaries.

“I’ve lived in Colorado my whole life, and right now in Aspen, there’s such a special energy. You can’t find a place to park, but it’s great,” said Brian Radtke, chief operating officer of Green Dragon, which opened its retail shop last week in the Hyman Avenue mall while keeping its other store just a short walk away as a medical dispensary. “Summer was unbelievable, but this is great too.”

There weren’t many holiday blowout sales at the dispensaries. Most tourists who partake are just pleased to have legal access to marijuana products, store operators said. But Alternative Medical Solutions was selling “Christmas Gift Bags,” such as the “Sweet Grass Kitchen,” offered for $84. The bag included four edible marijuana products — one 70 mg chocolate chip cookie, one 30 mg brownie, four 10 mg cookies and one 10 mg pumpkin pie.

The holiday customers run the gamut, Shadowshot noted. Leaf is now located on East Durant Avenue, just mere footsteps away from the swanky Residences at The Little Nell and the Hyatt Grand Aspen. The moneyed gentry are customers there, as are the working-class locals, she said. After he turned away two minors from entering the store, one of Shadowshot’s colleagues, Jesse Miller, said this is a time of year when the shop makes an effort to educate the tourists about the do’s and dont’s on pot consumption (see related story on page A3). A bulk of its customers are in the 40- to 60-year-old age group.

“A number of people inquire if they can take it home,” Miller said. “Federally, it’s illegal, we tell them. But what you do when you walk out the door is not our business. But we tell them not smoke on the Cooper mall or the Hyman mall.”

Miller then pointed to the stack of pamphlets on the counter. Distributed by the Valley Marijuana Council, the educational pamphlet covers everything from how to secure cannabis and where to use it to how much to consume. It also offers some tips to visitors, warning them not to travel out of state with marijuana and reminding them about the amnesty box, located at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, where travelers can dispose their products before boarding the plane.

But not all customers get it. Celebrity Paris Hilton made a purchase at Green Dragon earlier this week only to light up outside of the store in the mall, those knowledgeable of the episode said. Dispensary workers quickly informed her that type behavior isn’t kosher, even in laid-back Aspen.

Bill Linn, assistant police chief with the Aspen Police Department, said seeking out rogue pot smokers “is a really low-level issue, but we do run into people who don’t understand the rules.”

Just the other day, he said, he spotted a couple getting high in an alleyway next to the condo they were inhabiting. Linn warned the couple that pot smoking is illegal in public spaces such as an alley.

By next year, another downtown retail shop will open, Native Roots Aspen, which will occupy the former space of La Palapa on Hunter Street. That will increase downtown Aspen’s recreational marijuana stores to five, not including Stash, which is located at the Aspen Business Center.

Native Roots has shops throughout the state. Company CEO Josh Ginsberg said the Aspen store should create 25 local jobs.

Ron Radtke, the father of Brian and owner of the Green Dragon and its other location in Glenwood Springs, said his company started with 12 people at the beginning of 2014. Now he has 49 on his payroll.

rcarroll@aspentimes.com

Marijuana is legal, but strict rules still exist

December 26, 2014 — 

Along with the rest of Colorado, it’s now legal in Aspen to smoke marijuana for recreational purposes.

But many questions surround its use and sale, as municipalities and counties across Colorado, including Aspen and Pitkin County, have taken steps to restrict and limit its consumption. Where can a local or a visitor smoke legally without fear of arrest or citation? How much legal weed can an individual purchase? Is it illegal to buy “black market” pot?

Other concerns have arisen around the safe consumption of marijuana-infused food and drink products, or what are commonly referred to as “edibles.” Since recreational use of marijuana and related retail sales became legal following the passage of a statewide referendum in November 2012, many media outlets have placed their attention on instances of abuse and misuse.

Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo has spent much of the past year meeting and speaking with community stakeholders and the public as part of a concerted effort to address misconceptions about the laws pertaining to marijuana as well as the effects of the drug.

DiSalvo advocates safe, responsible use of marijuana by adults who wish to try it. He hopes that users will take a common-sense approach to consumption. DiSalvo’s primary concerns: People who drive while impaired from marijuana products and those who smoke marijuana or consume edibles around children.

“I think we need to be responsible adults with this,” he said. “On a social level, please purchase, consume and dispose of marijuana responsibly. On a criminal level, my No. 1 concern is driving. So far, we’ve only had one arrest in the county for driving under the influence of marijuana.”

DiSalvo also pointed out that visitors flying in and out of Aspen this winter should take heed of the Sheriff’s Office’s “amnesty box” at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport. It’s a receptacle where people can leave their marijuana products before passing through security lines and boarding their outgoing flights without fear of retribution.

“If you’re visiting here, you better leave it here,” DiSalvo said. “Dispose of it properly. Flush it. Use the garbage disposal. And if you’re at the airport, the amnesty box is alive and well.”

Technically, marijuana users are only allowed to smoke on private property with the consent of the landowner or land manager. DiSalvo said his deputies have been told to take a reasonable approach to enforcement.

“I would hope that if it was my deputy who came across someone smoking on county public space, including open space, they would tell them to please use discretion. This is not something we want to see in public. Be more considerate of others in the future, and make sure you’re not driving from here,” DiSalvo said. 

This story originally appeared in Winter in Aspen, a winter guide-style magazine available on racks throughout town.

Public marijuana use problems level off

December 22, 2014 — 

VAIL — As more recreational marijuana dispensaries opened up in the area, some authorities and residents thought the problem of public smoking would become an increasingly visible problem. Instead, according to police and resort records, incidents of public consumption have not shown any significant increase over last year.

In Vail, the town has strict rules against using marijuana in public areas, and use is prohibited on the ski resorts, which is on federal U.S. Forest Service land. So far, there are no retail recreational marijuana stores in Vail, which has put a temporary moratorium on the businesses since retail shops became legal.

The Vail Police Department issued 19 public consumption citations so far this year, compared to 15 in 2013. The majority of those were issued in Vail Village and Lionshead Village. The citation in Vail results in a ticket that usually costs around $200 and a summons to court.

The Eagle County Sheriffs Office and Vail Mountain both also reported that they haven’t experienced any increase in public use problems.

“With the legalization back at the beginning of the year, you’d think the incidences would be pretty high, but I think they’re not because we’ve been writing those tickets and gotten the word out that it’s not OK,” said Office Justin Dill of the Vail Police Department.

The town of Vail has page on its site dedicated to answer common questions about Colorado marijuana law. In addition, the town has produced the information in postcard form, which are distributed to local lodges and on Vail Mountain.

Dill said it’s hard to say if the town of Vail is experiencing more or fewer public use instances than other mountain towns.

“Breckenridge has a much more lenient approach to the whole thing, and the council here has been extending the moratorium, so policies vary a lot town to town,” he said. “Our focus is to keep Vail as a destination resort that’s family friendly, and we’ve taken a pretty strong stance against it.”

Assistant Managing Editor Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2927 or at mwong@vaildaily.com. Follow her on Twitter @mwongvail.

Snowmass entrepreneur's Magic Buzz is his link to a greater crusade

December 21, 2014 — 

Scott Calliham doesn’t peddle marijuana from his 1971 Volkswagen van. But you couldn’t be blamed for wondering if he did.

The Magic Buzz monicker is emblazoned on his van, which doesn’t shy away from the stereotypes of a puff mobile: the trippy colors, the groovy font and The Who-inspired monicker.

While he doesn’t sell marijuana from his van — “I get asked that all the time,” he chuckled — the Snowmass Village entrepreneur uses it to market his Magic Buzz product and educate the masses about the plant.

Magic Buzz is a pot-infused, 2-ounce energy shot that comes in three flavors. Each shot contains 10 milligrams of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. The shots take the guesswork out of how much THC is being consumed, and Calliham said it’s a manageable dosage for people with active lifestyles. The bottles range from $7 to $10 each.

He began manufacturing the product in Carbondale after he secured a state license in October. In November, the small Magic Buzz bottles hit the shelves in 15 pot shops statewide, including several in Aspen. Calliham is a wholesaler and doesn’t sell the product to individuals.

The marijuana product is an offshoot of what once used to be an organic energy shot sans cannabis. But Calliham pulled those from the shelves last year in the anticipation of recreational marijuana outlets opening in Colorado this year.

“I didn’t want the confusion of people not knowing which one was which,” he said.

But he said that beyond the curious looks given to the van — about a decade ago it served as an espresso and coffee kiosk in the Snowmass Mall — there’s a prime opportunity to attract higher-minded attention toward an evolving trade and culture. He concedes it is a challenge, with not all of America buying into marijuana as a legal substance. Just Thursday, Oklahoma and Nebraska sued Colorado, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to abolish marijuana laws.

A father of three children, Calliham said he recognizes that there’s still a stigma that comes with marijuana, despite it being legalized in Colorado and other states. But Calliham said he likes being part of the marijuana movement, and the van is one way to “express our civil liberties,” he said.

He said he plans to have the van on the site of Colorado marijuana festivals, like the 4/20 rally in Denver, in the coming year.

“I want to use the bus as a mobile, educational kiosk for the industry,” he said. “There’s a lot of mystery and curiosity and apprehension about the marijuana industry, and people don’t understand enough about it.”

Calliham is the co-owner of the Base Camp Bar & Grill and Slice Pizza in Snowmass. He also sat on the town’s marketing and tourism board that discouraged the Snowmass government to allow marijuana shops. But he said that he felt Snowmass needed to see how other ski-resort communities addressed legalization. Aspen will have five recreational shops in January with the opening of Native Roots.

“Yes, I want to sell a marijuana-based product also, but more importantly, to stimulate thought and deliberation on the subject,” he said. “Current perceptions of the marijuana plant run the gamut from its incredible medicinal benefits to the wrong-headed idea that it should remain a Schedule 1 controlled substance with possession punishable by prison time. It would not surprise me if the public perception of me and my company have almost that range as well.”

Calliham said he’s looking forward to the ride in this Wild West-ish industry, perception be damned.

“Am I going to be viewed as a crusader for civil liberties, capitalism, freedom, social justice and other really big words that take thought and hard work to achieve?” he asked. “Or just demeaned as a petty weed dealer trying to make a buck? Or maybe something in between? I guess we’ll all be figuring that one out together.”

rcarroll@aspentimes.com

Basalt council OKs medical pot rules

December 12, 2013 — 

Basalt could have two medical marijuana dispensaries opening in the first quarter of 2014 after the Basalt Town Council took action Tuesday night to update rules and end a moratorium.

The council voted 6-0 in a first reading to approve new regulations for medical marijuana facilities drafted by the town staff. They also voted to establish where such facilities could operate in Basalt. A second reading of both ordinances will be held Jan. 14.

Once the rules are in place, the council plans to repeal its moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries, members said at an earlier meeting. The current moratorium is in place until October.

If all goes as planned, operators will have to apply to the state for approval of a location and for a license, according to Town Manager Mike Scanlon. If they get state approval, they will apply to the town for approval of the location and a license.

“I would expect that within 90 to 120 days we would have two Medical Marijuana Centers in Basalt, could be sooner,” Scanlon said in an email.

The town’s regulations will allow only two dispensaries. An existing license apparently is active although the dispensary isn’t open, Scanlon said. The second license would be awarded, after the rules are approved, on a first-come, first-served basis, Scanlon said.

The town will modify existing rules to allow dispensaries to display one sign of 6 square feet. The old regulation didn’t allow any advertising.

The old rules also allowed medical marijuana dispensaries to operate only in medical facilities. The new rules expand locations to include some properties with the “industrial” zone in the Basalt business center along Willits Lane and in the Southside neighborhood.

Basalt is not approving grow or cultivation operations or manufacturing facilities. In addition, rules for recreational marijuana dispensaries will be handled separately over the next six months, according to Planning Director Susan Philp.

In other action Tuesday night, the Basalt Town Council:

• Awarded the sales of $5.01 million in general obligation bonds to Stifel Nicolaus & Co., of Memphis, Tenn. Basalt held its first-ever competitive sale and attracted 10 bidders, including national players such as Piper Jaffray & Co. as well as Denver-based powerhouse George K. Baum & Co. The town will receive its funds on Dec. 30. About $3 million will be applied to a project on the Roaring Fork River to ease the flooding threat, restore riverbanks, build a park and raise the level of developable land out of the floodplain. The other funds refinance prior bonds at a lower interest rate. Basalt got an “AA” rating from Standard & Poor’s Rating Services. Only two grades are higher. The rating service said Basalt has an “adequate economy, which benefits from high wealth and income indicators, despite concentrated employment opportunities.” The rating also credited the town government with “strong management and good financial-management policies.” In another note, Standard and Poor’s contended that one-quarter to one-third of the houses in the town are second homes.

• Approved increases to various fees and fines — from Planning Department fees to parking fines — for the first time in about 10 years. The Police Department fees and fines will have a 25 percent surcharge to raise funds for officer training. Police Chief Gregg Knott said he set fines by figuring the average for similar offenses in Aspen, Snowmass Village, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs and subtracting 25 percent for the Basalt base fine. That way, the 25 percent surcharge for officer training won’t add to the overall expense for the party being fined or paying a fee, he said.

Adopted a 2014 Final Work Plan, which sets priorities for the town government for the next year. The council also adopted a 10-year “expenditure framework” for Parks, Open Space and Trails funds.

scondon@aspentimes.com

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