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

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

Karl Herchenroeder
The Aspen Times
Customer Will Hart makes a purchase at Green Dragon Monday afternoon.
Jeremy Wallace/The Aspen Times |

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.

The licensing board granted approval on three conditions: that Milligan gain state approval, update his addresses and pass a fire-safety inspection before the board’s next meeting. Milligan said he anticipates state approval to take anywhere from 90 to 120 days, as its offices are inundated with marijuana applications and filings.

“We run a very tight, clean, compliant ship,” Milligan told the board Tuesday. “It takes an army to do it, but we’re pretty well-versed with Greenwerkz. The people that are involved now working for me have been working with me since 2009 (when the company was founded). They’re pretty well-versed on the system.”

The potential sale would involve a $7.25 million loan from Andrew Levine, a Denver friend who Milligan said he has collaborated with on past real estate transactions. Levin will collect interest on the loan, Milligan said, but it does not include any ownership rights of Green Dragon. Board chairman Bill Murphy asked why a loan is necessary, citing the size of the Greenwerkz operation.

“Andrew is a friend and a lender,” Milligan said. “Obviously, there’s some banking things that we deal with in this industry. We just know each other well, and it’s a good option for me to borrow.”

When Milligan was asked about the current Green Dragon staff, he said that as of now, management will remain the same. Milligan also was asked about cannabis extractions, and he said there are no plans to add that component to the operation. The on-site basement will be used for storage, he said.