As Jefferson County’s marijuana task force begins research that will help it guide the county on its decision to retain or lift its moratorium on recreational marijuana sales, neighboring Park County awarded its first recreational marijuana license to a Bailey store.
Sunrise Solutions, 43 Main St. in Bailey, has been operating with a medical marijuana license since 2010 and was the first store in the county to receive a recreational-sales license after the Board of County Commissioners gave approval at its March 13 meeting.
Sunrise Solutions owner Josh Grady said he started inquiring about getting a retail recreational marijuana license in November.
“I think Park County has been great — it’s just taken a lot of time,” he said.
The county adopted an ordinance allowing licensing and sales of retail marijuana in September.
Jefferson County Commissioner Don Rosier said Park County’s retail marijuana experience will be something Jeffco’s marijuana task force will look to in its research.
Rosier acknowledged the tourism potential in unincorporated Jefferson County, currently under a retail marijuana moratorium.
“If it’s positive for Park County, it’s probably going to be positive for Jefferson County,” he said.
Grady, who grew up in Bailey, began selling retail marijuana March 21 but said he lost three valuable months awaiting approval. He said he doesn’t get the kind of traffic that stores in Denver have seen since retail sales began in January — his medicinal marijuana sales saw an average of eight to 15 customers a day.
“Sales have doubled to tripled,” he said. “We missed the rush now that we’re in the third month of the year.”
Grady is confident, however, that business will grow and hold steady. He said the county, too, is hopeful the industry will create more jobs and cash flow in the rural area.
“Not only is this bringing people to Bailey, but there’s a percentage of my customers who are going to walk across the street to the gas station, the convenience store or the novelty shop,” Grady said.
Rod Di Mercurio owns Canna’tarium Tours, which leads limousine tours to pot shops around the state, pairing the tours with skiing and outdoor recreation stops. He has made Sunshine Solutions and the Bailey area’s hiking trails, fishing, wineries and vacation destinations an option on his tour menu.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Di Mercurio said about Bailey. “It’s a very rural community, a small community, tight-knit. We’re looking forward to doing a lot more there.”
Josie Klemaier: 303-954-2465, firstname.lastname@example.org