Retail marijuana dispensary to open in Dinosaur this week |

Retail marijuana dispensary to open in Dinosaur this week

Ryan Collins/Vernal Express
Backcountry Cannabis Company manager and head grower Nick Neidlein trims marijuana plants at the company's Oak Creek growing facility in April 2017. Co-CEOs Brian Rogers and Caitlin McGuire were the first to set up shop in the tiny South Routt town.
Ben Ingersoll

DINOSAUR — The town of Dinosaur will soon have a new mainstay — a retail marijuana dispensary. The new business is scheduled to open this week at 420 Brontosaurus Blvd. after more than a year of preparation.

The dispensary initially got the go-ahead from Dinosaur voters in November 2016, when ballot measure 3A passed 102-50, allowing the “establishment and operation of medical marijuana centers, medical marijuana cultivation facilities, medical marijuana-infused products manufacturing facilities, retail marijuana cultivation facilities, retail marijuana product manufacturing facilities, marijuana testing facilities and retail marijuana stores.”

Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012, following passage of Amendment 64, which changed the Colorado Constitution to allow retail marijuana sales to anyone age 21 or older.

Moffat County banned retail and medical dispensaries in 2014, but Dinosaur approved a ballot measure to allow retail and medical dispensaries within town limits.

In November, the state approved an application for a dispensary for Jeremy Johnson, who owns retail cannabis stores in Gunnison and Ridgway.

“If everything goes as planned, it’s supposed to be a pretty good revenue generator,” Dinosaur Mayor Richard Blakley said. “I have mixed feelings, but you know.”

Blakley said the amount of revenue the new store will generate for the community and local businesses is hard to quantify, as this will be the first store of its kind in Dinosaur. More are expected to follow.

“There are a couple others (stores) that are just there right at it,” Blakley said. “We actually have two other applications that I think are going to be all cleared.”

Blakley said he believes residual income will flow into the town of a little more than 300 with the coming of a recreational marijuana dispensary, but acknowledged he has mixed feelings about having it in the town.

“I’m from the old school; that’s why I say I have mixed feelings,” Blakely said. “Never have smoked it or any of that stuff, so like I say, I have mixed feelings. Medical wise, I have seen a lot, a lot of proof of how it helps people.”

Rocky Mountain Cannabis is 3 miles from the Utah border, where marijuana is strictly prohibited, and the Uintah County Sheriff’s office reminds Utah residents to leave the legal weed in Colorado.

“We will just have to remain vigilant in making sure we can stop what we can from coming into our community,” Uintah County Sheriff Van Norton said. Utah, Wyoming and Idaho are the last three states west of the Mississippi River that have not legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes or recreational use.

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