Boulder businessman renews interest in Basalt marijuana shops
A Boulder businessman who declared in frustration last year that he wanted nothing to do with Basalt because of red tape and bureaucracy has applied to take over existing licenses for a retail and a medical marijuana operation in the city.
Jack Pease plans to open the two operations within the Three Bears Building at 174 Midland Ave. in Basalt, according to his application.
He applied to the town Feb. 15 to transfer the licenses that were granted in May to Neat Things LLC, a company owned by Norm and Laura Clasen.
The Clasens are owners of the Three Bears Building. Pease will rent space from them as well as acquire the licenses granted to them, according to Basalt Town Manager Ryan Mahoney. Pease’s company, Aspen Valley Station LLC, received a building permit from the town to remodel the ground floor space in the Three Bears Building, located on Basalt’s main drag between Heather’s and Cafe Bernard.
The transfer of a marijuana sales license is similar to the transfer of a liquor license, Mahoney said. No hearing date has been set but he said it will likely be in April. Once the transfer is approved, the town will notify the state, which also will transfer the licenses, Mahoney said.
Basalt caps the number of licenses at two each for retail and medical operations. However, Roots Rx is the only marijuana shop of any type operating in the town. It has a retail license for operations at 165 Southside Drive.
The Town Council approved a medical marijuana license in September for Down Valley HYH LLC, a company owned by Justin Streeb and Kale Lacroux. They intend to open a facility in property they own at 175 Midland Ave. but have been unable to launch operations yet.
Pease couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday about his plan for Basalt. In 2016, he planned to buy the Three Bears Building from the Clasens and open a marijuana sales operation. However, the town at that time didn’t allow marijuana sales on Midland Avenue. Regulations were eased but Pease faced further hurdles because Basalt also required a 500-foot buffer between marijuana shops and schools, day cares and parks.
During a council process that included intensive debate, a stalemate and reconsideration, Pease withdrew his offer to buy the building and plans to pursue a marijuana business. He told the Aspen Daily News in January 2017 he had no desire to do business in Basalt after the “nightmarish” experience he had with the town government.
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