Rocky Mountain Cannabis becomes first retail marijuana business to open up shop in Craig
A little over six months after City of Craig voters pushed through all three of the city’s marijuana-related ballot initiatives, Craig’s first retail marijuana shop opened for business.
On April 9, Rocky Mountain Cannabis – located at 535 Yampa Avenue #100 – officially opened for business. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic though, last Thursday’s open was a bit different than in years past at other new stores, according to Rocky Mountain Cannabis owner Natalie Ricks.
“The process [of opening] was definitely a little different,” Ricks said. “We were originally planning on opening in early March, but that’s when the coronavirus stuff hit and was very serious and started to get kind of scary; so I just made the decision to hold off a little bit on opening.
“I just wanted to make sure that we were doing the right thing for the community, and that we were protecting our staff,” Ricks added. The knowledge gained from other company stores around the state when it comes to handling customer interaction helped Ricks decide to open the Craig location last Thursday.
The delay caused Rocky Mountain Cannabis to open nearly two months to the date of Craig City Council’s approval of a retail marijuana license on Feb. 11.
In a vote of 5-1, City Councilors approved the license. Councilman Paul James abstained from the vote due to his employment with the company, while Councilman Tony Bohrer voted no on Feb. 11.
Rocky Mountain Cannabis — which will do business as Craig Cannabis, Inc. — currently has seven shops in the state of Colorado. The company has locations in Dinosaur, Ridgway, Gunnison, Trinidad, Georgetown and Fraser.
Ricks said the company is mainly on the Western Slope and is based out of Montrose. The company started in Ridgway and then moved to Gunnison, Dinosaur and Trinidad.
With Gov. Polis’s stay at home order still in affect, Rocky Mountain Cannabis – which currently has three employees and will have a max of seven when fully staffed – has adapted to the current way of operating businesses and has turned to phone and online orders to reach customers, keeping people out of the store for the time being.
“Everyone seems pretty receptive to it [online and phone orders] right now,” Ricks said. “We’re only taking orders that way because we don’t actually have the store open completely. We have our front entrance area open and have our guests line up six feet apart and wait for their orders to be filled.”
Ricks added that customers can pick up their orders through the check-in window at the store once it’s their turn.
Rocky Mountain Cannabis has more than 40 strains available for customers to choose from, as well as a number of concentrates, topicals, CBD products, and more.
“Whatever somebody wants, we pretty much have it,” Ricks said. “We have a pretty large assortment of products to choose from. We pride ourselves on having the largest assortment in the state.”
Despite the ever-changing ways of daily operations for businesses, Ricks said she’s very grateful to be the first retail marijuana shop to open in Craig.
“I’m just really happy to be here in Craig,” Ricks said. “This has been a tough time to open, but we’re really thankful for the reception we’ve gotten from people. I’m really happy and excited about that.
“It really hasn’t sunk in that we’re open here in Craig, but we’re just super excited to be here and be part of this community moving forward.”
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Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Michael Mathers’s name.