Another marijuana shop coming to Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Another marijuana shop coming to Aspen

Boulder businessman Josh Ginsberg sees an untapped opportunity in Aspen's recreational marijuana arena, and Tuesday set the stage for him to open his seventh pot shop in Colorado.

The Local Licensing Authority voted 4-0 in approval of Ginsberg's application to open a recreational marijuana shop, called Native Roots Aspen, at 308 S. Hunter St., the former location of La Palapa restaurant. Ginsberg said he plans to open about 1,000 square feet of the shop Jan. 1, pending state approval, before he remodels the entire 1,900-square-foot spot later next year.

"Our feeling is that most shops in Aspen have a jewelry-slash-hip look," Ginsberg said after the hearing, contending that Aspen dispensaries can be intimidating to consumers buying cannabis products for the first time. "We're going for a vibe that's going to be fun, that's going to be educational for a lot of people."

Ginsberg runs a collection of both medical and recreational marijuana shops throughout the state. Two are in Boulder, and individual stores are located in Denver, Frisco, Longmont and Vail. He said he has other shops in the works. Additionally, Ginsberg said he operates four marijuana cultivation centers on the Front Range with plans to open another one.

Members of the Local Licensing Authority went through the routine questions with Ginsberg and his attorney, including the need for personal histories of the store's management, and a security system.

"You don't even live here. Who's running the show?" member Bill Murphy asked.

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"We have a guy here who's running the show, living here," lawyer Jon Boord said. "We have a search for local managers and local workers who have ties to the community."

After the meeting, Ginsberg said Native Roots Aspen will create about 25 jobs. He said he'll need the large staff to accommodate the shop's peak-season hours, which will start as early as 8 a.m. and end as late as midnight.

"That's when the skiers are up," he said of the early opening hours.

Meanwhile, the Local Licensing Authority's hearing for the Stash dispensary, currently located at Aspen Business Center, was moved to Jan. 6. Stash has filed an application to relocate its retail shop to 710 E. Durant Ave.

Provided its application wins approval, that would bump up the number of recreational pot shops in downtown Aspen to six. All are locally owned, other than Ginsberg's Native Roots Aspen.

rcarroll@aspentimes.com

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