Aspen marijuana shop temporarily closed as it adds grow facility |

Aspen marijuana shop temporarily closed as it adds grow facility

Karl Herchenroeder
The Aspen Times

Alternative Medical Solutions is closed temporarily as it works with the state Marijuana Enforcement Division to add grow partners to its application, which was withdrawn voluntarily by the marijuana shop on April 22.

In its new application, the South Mill Street storefront is adding two partners who will operate a new cultivation facility in Colorado Springs. The addition will allow the pot shop to grow 100 percent of its product.

In January, Alternative Medical Solutions renewed its medical license with Aspen’s Local Licensing Authority. During the hearing, City Clerk Linda Manning informed the board that the shop was essentially on probation with the state, in part because it allegedly failed to grow at least 70 percent of its product.

Co-owner Ben Bayko attributed the product shortfall to a terminated lease, and the license was granted under the assumption that the supply issue would be resolved, which the new partnership ensures.

Marijuana Enforcement Division spokeswoman Natriece Bryant said there are no violations on record within the past six months for Alternative Medical Solutions, and Manning said the shop is in good standing with the Local Licensing Authority.

“AMS is currently restructuring its internal organization with the Marijuana Enforcement Division,” a statement from Alternative Medical Solutions said. “As part of this process we have agreed to a scheduled shutdown of operations until the MED is able to complete the changes which allow continued operations in keeping with state law.”

It is unclear when the shop will reopen, but Bayko is hoping soon.

“The changes that AMS is going through will ensure that we can continue to offer the best possible products to our patients,” the statement said. “We will be open again as soon as the MED completes the execution of this process, which we have been assured will be done in timely manner.”

Bayko identified the new partners as Charles Karnes and Mike Lluria, who currently own and operate Colorado Springs’ oldest licensed marijuana center, Pikes Peak Alternative Wellness, as well as the 710 Club.