Approval granted for Green Dragon to change hands
June 29, 2016
A Denver-based cannabis company that already owns a retail and medical marijuana operation in Glenwood Springs won local approval Wednesday to acquire the Green Dragon's local holdings.
Greenwerkz already received approval in May from Aspen's licensing authority for a transfer of ownership involving the Green Dragon retail store and medical dispensary in Aspen.
That was the first step in the pending $8 million sale that would include the Green Dragon's retail, medical and cultivation operation on Devereux Road in Glenwood Springs as well.
Greenwerkz already operates seven recreational shops and nine medical shops throughout Colorado, including one at 2922 S. Glen Ave. in Glenwood Springs.
Following a brief hearing Wednesday with no one opposed to the transaction, Glenwood Springs' marijuana and liquor licensing official Angela Roff OK'd transfer of the retail licenses. A separate "paper review" of the medical marijuana license transfer is still pending, but is expected to be completed by week's end, Roff said.
That leaves only the Colorado Department of Revenue, which oversees marijuana operations in the state, to approve the deal, Greenwerkz co-owner Ryan Milligan said.
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The sale will include Green Dragon's medical and recreational cultivation facility and dispensary at 1420 Devereux Road. Green Dragon settled on that location for its primary growing operations last summer after failing to win approval for a cultivation facility in Pitkin County.
The operation's Aspen retail shop and medical dispensary is located at 409 E. Hyman Ave. Like the Glenwood location, it would continue to operate as a dual medical-recreational retailer serving customers 21 and older.
The pending sale would involve a $7.25 million loan from Andrew Levine, a Denver friend who Milligan told the Aspen Times earlier this year he has collaborated with on past real estate transactions.
According to Aspen Times reports, Levin will collect interest on the loan, but it does not include any ownership rights of Green Dragon.
Milligan reiterated on Wednesday that he does not anticipate making any changes in the managerial staff currently working for Green Dragon owner Ron Radtke.
As for Radtke, he said after the Wednesday license transfer hearing that this will mean "retirement" for him.
Radtke was one of the pioneers in establishing the medical marijuana trade in Glenwood Springs, first opening the Green Essentials dispensary in the 1400 block of Grand Avenue, before moving it to the 400 block of 10th Street and eventually to Devereux Road last year after he obtained a license to sell on the recreational market as well.
Radtke and the Green Dragon lost their bid earlier this summer to open a second retail location and what would have been Glenwood Springs' only marijuana edibles bakery at 919 Grand Ave. following public outcry about new marijuana shops in the downtown core.
The Green Dragon lost its appeal of Roff's decision to City Council during a lengthy July 2 hearing, as did another proposed retail operator, Recreational Releaf, which has proposed to open a retail shop in the former Green Essentials storefront on 10th Street.
Radtke said he initially prepared a request to Garfield District Court to reconsider the rejected retail license, but has since withdrawn that request.
Meanwhile, Glenwood City Council is nearing the end of a 90-day moratorium on new marijuana license and land-use applications in anticipation of adopting new regulatory measures aimed at controlling the proliferation of marijuana businesses in town.
Under the new rules, any new marijuana business would have to go through a special-use review before both the city Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council. Businesses must also now be separated by at least 900 feet, rather than 325 feet under the existing rules.
City Council is slated to give final consideration to the new regulations at its Aug. 20 meeting.
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