A number of marijuana-infused edibles available at Ganja Gourmet on December 27, 2013, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Anya Semenoff/The Denver Post)

Ganja Gourmet in Denver gears up for recreational use

Ganja Gourmet has long been a unique staple of South Broadway, not just selling marijuana, but specializing in edibles.

But this time, they’re along for the ride as one of many dispensaries going for a recreational license. Manager Mike Brodeur said they have their license hearing Jan. 16 and hope to be fully functional by Feb. 1.

The shop is getting ready for the expected boom the recreational license is sure to bring and is undergoing construction to separate the medicinal side from the recreational.

No longer will customers have to sign in to gain access, and medical patients will have their cards checked in only one half of the store.

“I like the fact that it’s going to be separate. It’s going to tell us where the growth is coming from,” Brodeur said.

He added that he thinks his current medical customers will appreciate the separation and it will give them a little privacy while they shop.

Brodeur said the shop will increase its inventory, but will have to wait and see the demand.

His theory is that recreational sales will boom for a while, then slow locally as customers realize how easy it is to get a medical card and how much less expensive medical marijuana is. Higher doses are also available on the medical side.

“I think by June of (2014), medical patients are going to triple,” he said.

Brodeur cites the high state tax on recreational pot as the catalyst for more medical sales.

Denver Executive Director of Marijuana Policy Ashley Kilroy said that remains to be seen.

“We’re in uncharted territory right now,” Kilroy said. “Right now, we just don’t know.”

Morgan Carr with Wellspring Collective disagrees with Brodeur and said he doesn’t see as much of a spike in the medical field because he said people don’t want to be in the medical registry.

“People do not want to be on the medical registry. It’s not a confidential registry and has been breached,” Carr said.

Ganja Gourmet opened as a restaurant in 2009, but had to transition because consumption of marijuana on the premises was not allowed. It was the butt of jokes on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and employee Thomas Behler said he was interviewed by Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog,

They dived into the edibles market and now 50 percent of sales come in edibles.

Brodeur said Ganja Gourmet employs about nine people and will hire one or two more who can work on both the medical and recreational sides.

Joe Vaccarelli: 303-954-2396, jvaccarelli@denverpost.com or twitter.com/joe_vacc

This story was first published on DenverPost.com