Marijuana in a jar. (RJ Sangosti, Denver Post file photo)

Retail pot shops limited to Northglenn in Adams County

NORTHGLENN — The customer service at The Green Solution in Northglenn is top notch.

Consumers enter a fragrant lobby where a receptionist fondly remembers most of their names before letting them into a secure room with dark wood floors and brightly lit cases filled with marijuana-infused products and gadgets for consumption.

The room is full of cannabis connoisseurs waiting to individually escort each guest through the room and advise them on the strain of marijuana that best suits their needs or desires. Overhead, a flat screen intermittently flashes images of dozens of flowering plants incubating in a grow room somewhere in Denver.

“We let the patients watch their medicine grow from one of our smaller warehouses,” said Brad Speidell, manager of the medical marijuana dispensary at 470 Malley Drive. “Soon, it’ll change to ‘watch your cannabis grow’ for the retail customers.”

Speidell said that in the last few months, his e-mail has been bombarded with inquiries from people who live outside of Colorado who are asking him when they can drop by to pick up their legal, nonmedicinal sack of cannabis.

“They say, ‘hey, I’m going to be in town for New Year’s, can I come in,’ ” he said.

Not quite. The store in Northglenn is licensed to sell retail marijuana Jan. 1, but Speidell is electively delaying the grand opening until the middle of the January while he finishes a 2,500-square-foot addition to the existing store.

There are four locations of The Green Solution — two in Denver and one in Lakewood — but the Northglenn store was the first to open as a medical marijuana dispensary in October 2010.

Located in a small strip mall, The Green Solution of Northglenn already takes up three commercial store spaces. A fourth empty storefront is getting the wall knocked out this month so Speidell can separate his medical clients from the recreational users.

He said when retail launches, each customer will be identified by a red or grey tag — red for recreational user and grey for medical patients. They may purchase weed only from an inventory designated to what kind of user they are.

One of the new additions during the remodel is a private, separate express stand for medical and retail customers who call ahead to reserve an order for quick pickup.

“It helps relieve any bogdown in the dispensary and gets customers who are in a hurry in and out,” Speidell said.

While the finishing touches are put on The Green Solution, BotanaCare Medical Marijuana Center on 11450 Cherokee St. was the only store in the Northglenn (and all of Adams County) to open its doors to customers Jan. 1.

“We (had) a crew of people setting up a heated warehouse for customers who line up at the doors,” said Robin Hackett, manager of BotanaCare. “We’re pre-weighing products so as not to waste any time, to get people through the doors as quick as possible.”

Hackett said she’s been preparing for the first of the month every day since they found out on Dec. 24 that they were licensed to open their doors to retail customers Jan. 1. She said a team of five employees have done nothing but roll more than 2,000 joints for “opening day” in the last week.

“It’s the end of prohibition,” she said.

Patient Preferred Products is the third and final cannabis store in Northglenn at 2100 E. 112th Ave. Business owners are waiting to hear back on their retail license, and store employees estimate they will open their doors to recreation users in the next few months.

The rest of Adams County has turned a cold shoulder to the new industry. Stores are banned in unincorporated Adams County, Thornton, Westminster and Brighton. Commerce City has so far allowed one medical marijuana store into the city, and is under moratorium for retail stores. Federal Heights is also under moratorium, which ends in the spring.

Megan Mitchell: 303-954-2650, or

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