Good People

Down Valley HYH LLC, doing business as Good People, plans to open a medical marijuana retail operation in the Iron Horse Condominiums building, 175 Midland Ave., on July 1.

A company doing business as Good People hopes to win Basalt Town Council approval, for the second time in 17 months, to bring medicinal marijuana to the midvalley.

The company, Down Valley HYH LLC, already received the council’s blessing for its project in October 2017 and again last month. The 2017 approval expired for technical reasons – there was an issue over the filing of a site plan to the town – requiring owners Kale Lacroux and Justin Streeb to resubmit a more complete application late last year.

At its Jan. 22 regular meeting, the council gave another green light to the company’s application on first reading of the ordinance to approve the project and grant a medical marijuana license, with the makeup of the body being slightly different from what it was in 2017. Second reading and a public hearing are set for Feb. 12.

Lacroux said a July 1 grand opening is planned for Good People, which will be located in a street-facing unit on the ground floor of the Iron Horse building at 175 Midland Ave. It will be Basalt’s third official purveyor of pot following the opening of Roots RX at 165 Southside Drive and The Station at 174 Midland Avenue.

Most Roaring Fork Valley marijuana dispensaries in the area are focused on sales of the recreational product since passage of the 2012 statewide referendum making it legal to do so. But the medical marijuana market remains viable, Lacroux said.

Basalt’s regulations only allow two recreational and two medical licenses, and the town only has one of those four, a medical license, left to award. Roots RX possesses a recreational license while The Station has both types. Customers of medical marijuana products, which are generally stronger than the recreational variety, are required to hold a special state-issued card that can only be issued if the applicant has physician approval.

“The medical marketplace is actually very underlooked,” Lacroux said. “Cannabis started as a medical source and that’s really our focus, to provide people with a quality product for their medical needs. It’s a very different market.”

People who rely on marijuana for medical purposes require much more potent doses of the product that they can’t get through recreational sellers, he said.

Lacroux explained the events leading to the expiration following  initial approval in October 2017. The council’s blessing was contingent upon a site plan being filed within 180 days, according to official memorandums.

“Because the Applicant did not file the required Special Review site plan for recording within 180 days of receiving approval as was required [by the 2017 ordinance] and did not make significant progress toward finalizing the approval documents, the approval expired,” a memo from assistant planning director James Lindt to the council states.

Lacroux said there was a “clerical overlook” on the company’s part as well as the town’s, and no one noticed it until the company began taking steps to renew its license last year.

“That’s when it was brought to everyone’s attention that this plat was never filed,” he said.

Immediately after the October 2017 approval, the company began focusing on what it had to do to garner state approval, he said.

“At that point, we needed to be associated with our own cultivation facility [per state medical marijuana regulations],” Lacroux said. “We turned all of our attention into partnering with a facility in Denver to supply our product. Needless to say, that’s not an overnight process.”

Amid that effort, the state last year changed the regulation requiring medical marijuana sellers to have their own cultivation facilities. “Long story short, in turning our focus on getting certified at the state level, we overlooked a detail at the local level, and now we are just going through the process again,” Lacroux said.

He added that he and Streeb look forward to their business venture in downtown Basalt as well as providing options for medicinal marijuana patients in the valley.

Andre is a reporter for Aspen Daily News. He can be reached at andre@aspendailynews.com.

Reporter