Summit County’s 9 marijuana dispensaries mark ‘4/20’ | SummitDaily.com
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Summit County’s 9 marijuana dispensaries mark ‘4/20’

CAITLIN ROW
summit daily news
Summit Daily/Mark Fox
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SUMMIT COUNTY – Business boomed for Summit County’s medical marijuana dispensaries Tuesday on the nation’s unofficial cannabis celebration – “4/20,” or April 20. As a nod to the pot-friendly holiday, dispensaries throughout the community were offering patients “4/20” product deals and specials – like discounts, raffles, food and free massages.

“It’s become pretty much a holiday around the country for people who either believe that it’s a medical right or basically a birth right, and they recognize that intended freedom,” said Jerry Olson, owner of Medical Marijuana of the Rockies in Frisco. “It’s an educational platform to let other people know about it being a safe subject and that we don’t need to be overly concerned.”

Though there weren’t any official public gatherings scheduled in Summit County to commemorate 4/20 like those on the Front Range, medical marijuana dispensaries were seeing an uptick in visits Tuesday morning.

According to The Breckenridge Loft manager Dylan Welch, the almost four-month old dispensary usually sees only four or five people in its first hour of business. But Tuesday, he – along with owner Cory McNeill – saw at least 15 patients in the same time period.

Other dispensaries saw similar results. Employees at both Breckenridge Organic Therapy and Medical Marijuana of the Rockies in Frisco said they were quite busy Tuesday servicing customers.

“It’s a great day as far as our patients are concerned,” said Kyle Gardner, the general manager of Breckenridge Organic Therapy. Despite a soft opening earlier in the week, the new dispensary held its grand opening Tuesday as part of its cannabis celebration.

According to town officials, there are currently nine medical marijuana dispensaries in Summit County: two in Frisco, one in Silverthorne, and six open in Breckenridge. There’s also one marijuana-related business, the Colorado Cannabis College, in Breckenridge, which operates as a resource shop with a library, various types of information and some retail.

Though medical marijuana dispensaries are still considered illegal by federal law, the prevalence of this sort of business has surged in Colorado since it was OK’d by state voters.

Welch of The Breckenridge Loft said he wanted to remind locals and visitors to Summit County that marijuana isn’t legal in Breckenridge or anywhere else in the community, and patients must be doctor-referred.

“Don’t smoke on the street,” he said.

As of Jan. 1, Breckenridge’s town code no longer criminalizes adult personal possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana for private use. The Breckenridge Town Council voted to put marijuana decriminalization on the ballot, and the final vote in November 2009 resulted in more than 70 percent in favor of decriminalization. Breckenridge was also the first Summit County town to draft a set of regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries.

Leadville may follow in the footsteps of Breckenridge come November by decriminalizing marijuana through its own ballot initiative.

Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at crow@summitdaily.com.


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