Aspen to get marijuana shops from Front Range, Western Slope competing in Durant Mall | AspenTimes.com

Aspen to get marijuana shops from Front Range, Western Slope competing in Durant Mall

Aspen's Wild West of marijuana shops is about to get wilder.

Two established purveyors of cannabis — Euflora, based in the Denver area, and The Green Joint out of Glenwood Springs with spots along Interstate 70 stretching to Grand Junction — are seeking the Local Licensing Authority's permission to open and operate stores in Aspen.

With the authority's blessing — a meeting is set for May 1 — the shops will be competing neighbors in the Durant Mall, home to the Great Western Grog Shop, Jour De Fete and other retailers and businesses.

The Green Joint will start from scratch in Aspen, setting up shop in a 717-square-foot space facing Durant Avenue, co-owner Dan Sullivan said Thursday.

"We've actually had our eyes on Aspen for several years now," said Sullivan, who holds an equal 43.9 percent ownership with his wife, Cheryl. Barbara Paarz of Twin Lakes owns the remaining 12.2 percent. "It's difficult to find the right place with the right price, and we feel we were able to find that."

The Green Joint, which signed a lease that began April 1 and goes through April 30, 2021, will pay $3,200 month for its space, according to records with the city clerk.

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Euflora will take over the 610 square feet of space currently occupied by Stash, provided the Local Licensing Authority approves its application to transfer ownership of the marijuana license. The pending sale of Stash, owned by married couple Garrett and Shawn Patrick, amounts to $1.2 million, city records show.

Euflora co-founder Pepe Breton said Thursday his company is investing $100,000 on a remodel to put the space on par with its Front Range locations. CBS's Money Watch dubbed the Euflora store on Denver's 16th Street Mall the "Apple Store" of cannabis shops in April 2014, given its minimalist yet modern design where customers can investigate products using the tablet computers on site.

With an Aspen store in its portfolio, Euflora will have six pot shops in Colorado; two are in Denver, two in Aurora, and one in Longmont.

The Green Joint has stores in Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction/Parachute and Rifle.

Both Breton and Sullivan, whose companies have their own cultivation facilities, said they are fine with being neighbors in the same trade, seeking the same customers. Both will be ground-level dispensaries.

"We're used to it," said Breton, whose Euflora company is the organizer of today's Mile High 420 Festival in Civic Center Park. "For us, it comes down to service and quality of product."

Said Sullivan: "We're a well-known brand and name in the Roaring Fork Valley. And we've long wanted to be in Aspen."

Aspen's five other cannabis dispensaries are within close proximity, also. Best Day Ever is located above the Silverpeak shop on the 500 block of East Cooper Avenue, while Native Roots, also a chain, is around the corner on South Hunter Street. And Roots Rx Aspen, on the 400 block of East Hyman Avenue, is a few puffs away from the Green Dragon dispensary.

Last year Aspen marijuana shops sold $11.3 million worth of cannabis products, topping the $10.5 million generated by liquor stores. Aspen has five liquor stores, and pending the Local License Authority's approval, it will have seven cannabis dispensaries, equaling the most it has had since legal recreational marijuana sales in Colorado debuted Jan. 1, 2014.

rcarroll@aspentimes.com

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