County approves marijuana-facility conversion
Ryan Summerlin July 25, 2014
The Pitkin County commissioners approved the conversion of an existing medical marijuana cultivation license to a recreational marijuana cultivation license in the Crystal River caucus area despite a caucus vote to recommend not approving recreational marijuana grow facilities o be allowed within the caucus boundaries.
The Crystal River caucus met July 11 and voted, 23-16, not to allow recreational marijuana grow sites in the Crystal River Valley. The caucus also recorded a 24-17 vote not to allow recreational marijuana manufacturing or test sites in the same area.
But because the grow operation, owned by Silverpeak Apothecary in Aspen, was in good standing and already had been operating in that caucus area for several years as a medical marijuana grow facility, the commissioners approved the conversion.
“This is just a conversion from an existing license,” Silverpeak attorney Jody Edwards said. “There will be no physical changes, no new employees, no new plans.”
The county approved granting a recreational marijuana grow license to Silverpeak Apothecary on March 4 for the Crystal River Valley location. Silverpeak owns both a medical and recreational marijuana cultivation license at Crystal River facility and is looking to make that facility 100 percent recreational.
“We’re not going to stop selling medical marijuana,” Silverpeak owner Jordan Lewis said. “We have another grow facility in Durango that will provide for our medical customers.”
Lewis also has several greenhouses under construction near Basalt on the south side of Highway 82, east of the Roaring Fork Club entrance. Those greenhouses will have a floor space of as much as 25,000 square feet.
Lewis said that if all the construction deadlines are met, the greenhouses should be ready for inspection and licensing by Oct. 1.
The commissioners approved the license conversion by a 4-1 margin on Wednesday, with commissioner George Newman the lone dissenting vote.
“If this was an application for a new license, I would strongly consider the caucus vote,” Commissioner Steve Child said. “This is an existing operation that’s not going to get any bigger and won’t be adding more plants. I also talked to a neighbor who lives in that subdivision a couple doors down from the grow operation who said it was there for two years before she was aware it was a grow operation.”