pot shop

A view of the second-story facade of the Holtz Plaza building at 106 S. Mill St. The Green Solution plans to open there next year, and is already leasing the upstairs space that formerly served Alternative Medical Solutions.

A Denver retail marijuana chain has received approval from Aspen regulators for a new dispensary in the upstairs space at Holtz Plaza, on the corner of Main and Mill streets, above Mi Chola restaurant.

The Green Solution is expected to open no later than September 2019 in the 1,475-square-foot space that formerly housed Alternative Medical Solutions, known locally as AMS, which was one of the city’s first pot shops to offer recreational sales in early 2014. AMS is no longer in business.

If The Green Solution — whose license application received the blessing of the Local Licensing Authority board in a 4-0 vote Tuesday, with one board member abstaining — opens ahead of other potentially new cannabis sales operations, it would become the city’s eighth dispensary, according to Aspen City Clerk Linda Manning.

The Green Solution is a Denver-based marijuana chain with five stores in Aurora, four in Denver and one each in Fort Collins, Trinidad, Silver Plume, Northglenn, Edgewater, Glendale and Sheridan, according to the company’s web site, tgscolorado.com. A 17th store is expected to open soon in Pueblo.

The company describes itself in marketing materials as a family-owned Colorado business with more than 50 awards for “quality flower, concentrates and edibles. Our family of retail associates is sharp-dressed and well-equipped with the concierge-level expertise needed to craft each individual’s cannabis experience.”

The chain’s owners are four brothers, and all of them were present for Tuesday’s board hearing in Aspen. One of them, Kyle Speidell, discussed the company’s local plans in an interview late Tuesday afternoon.

Speidell said the store at 106 S. Mill St. will focus on recreational sales of flower, edibles, concentrates, topical and related accessories. Customers with valid medical marijuana cards will receive a 15 percent discount. The operation won’t have separate, segregated sections for medical and recreational customers as some other cannabis stores in Colorado do.

He said Aspen was chosen for expansion largely because of its status as a solid, high-end tourism destination.

“For us, Aspen was a good opportunity,” Speidell said. “We believe our brand coincides with Aspen clientele quite a bit. Our brand is much more of a concierge and connoisseur type of brand. We have a store that’s opening in Glenwood Springs soon and the Aspen store will allow us to have both sides of the tourism market, since Glenwood doesn’t really have the ski traffic.”

Speidell said he’s not concerned about Aspen being overly saturated with dispensaries.

“Our brand offers a distinctively different experience to visitors,” he said. “All of our products are not sold in other stores. It kind of brings an entirely different set of products available to that market. We allow customers to browse, but we do a one-on-one with each of our different cases; it’s not a standstill type of model. I just think that Aspen’s been missing that ‘elevated experience’ in terms of customer service so we believe we’re going to do just fine.”

The Green Solution signed a five-year lease for the space, with an option to renew in 2023, that went into effect March 22. Its base rent for the first year will be $87,024 and annual adjustments to the rent will be based on the Consumer Price Index, according to documents provided to the city.

Speidell said an extensive renovation is planned by the company in the first quarter of next year, and he and his brothers hope to open the store during the summer. That timeline will depend on the city’s permitting process and other factors, he said.

The Glenwood Springs store will be The Green Solution’s 18th location since the company was founded in 2010, he said. The company also has a project in Longmont that will be the 19th store. Aspen is tentatively set as the 20th, although it could open ahead of Longmont.

“We’ve been trying to open three or four [dispensaries] a year for the last five or so years,” Speidell said.

Other recreational marijuana dispensaries currently doing business in Aspen are:

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