Altitude Organic hopes to add medical license in Dillon
November 2, 2016
Altitude Organic, a chain of marijuana stores based in Colorado Springs, has set its sights on converting its retail license in Dillon to a dual license.
Currently, Dillon allows retail stores, but not medicinal. The town placed a cap on retail licenses, only allowing three shops, which are currently owned by Alpenglow Botanicals, Altitude and Native Roots. In years past, the Dillon Town Council was adamantly against having marijuana in the town at all. A moratorium was put in place preventing medicinal shops from opening.
Jessie Levy, the general manager of Altitude's retail store, said that the company mainly focuses on medicinal marijuana, which is why they want to convert to a dual license in the town.
"We've been medical for the past six years, have really done a lot in the community of medical," Levy said of the company's other stores. "We really wanted to be a part of the community as far as helping people and giving them a sustainable, healthy product."
For the past several months, she has been working with Dillon's town clerk, Jo-Anne Tyson, in order to give the town council more information about medicinal licenses. The council discussed medicinal and dual licenses in the town during their work session on Nov. 1. As part of her presentation, Tyson said that there were more than 700 people in Summit County that have medical marijuana cards. More than 100 of those are in the Dillon area.
Tom Breslin, Dillon's town manager, said that despite the town not allowing medicinal marijuana shops, a medicinal shop in Silverthorne is close proximity. High Country Healing in Silverthorne holds medicinal and retail licenses as well.
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Levy said that there was a lack of medicinal options in Summit County. Besides High Country Healing, the only locations that sell medical are Native Roots in Frisco and Organix in Breckenridge. Green Dragon will honor or beat local medical prices at their store in Breckenridge, as long as customers provide their medicinal card. Medical Marijuana of the Rockies closed after six years of business in April of 2015.
"We feel like it's very important, especially for medical patients, to have that really safe product out there," Levy said. "We think it's important not just for us to have this opportunity, but for everyone in the community to be able to become medical."
While many of the town council members seemed hesitant to discuss a new cap limit on marijuana licenses in general, they decided there was no reason to not allow dual licenses to the shops that already have establishments. Council advised town staff to draft an ordinance replacing the moratorium and allowing dual licenses. The ordinance will officially be voted on at a future town council meeting. Tyson said that once the ordinance is drafted it will be presented at another town council work session to work out particular details. From there it will go through a first and second reading, as well as a public hearing. She said it will likely be mid-January or early February before the ordinance would take effect if it passes.
To have a dual license, shops must keep medicinal and retail pot entirely separate within the store. This includes separate registers and pot storage. Medicinal marijuana is a higher potency and is cheaper than regular retail pot. To purchase medicinal pot, you have to have a prescription from a doctor.
Levy said that their location off of Little Beaver Trail in Dillon was large enough to accommodate those regulations.
"The building is absolutely huge right now, it can definitely hold both licenses, having four recreational registers and three to two medical registers easily," Levy said.
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