The owner of Basalt’s second recreational marijuana dispensary said Tuesday he plans to open May 1 in the Three Bears Building.
Jack Pease, 75, a Glenwood Springs resident who also owns a pot dispensary in Boulder called The Station, said the Basalt shop at 174 Midland Ave. will offer cannabis products for medical marijuana cardholders as well. The 2,000-square-foot store will be called Aspen Valley Station.
Pease and his attorney, Lauren Maytin of Aspen, went before the Basalt Town Council on Tuesday evening to seek approval of license transfers that will enable him to open his business. His request was granted by a council majority, although councilwomen Jennifer Riffle and Katie Schwoerer abstained from voting. Riffle has been critical in the past of marijuana purveyors locating in the Basalt area.
Pease, who also owns an 80,000-square-foot grow operation in Denver, said his attempt to open a shop in Basalt has been a lengthy, 2.5-year process.
“I think it’ll be a good deal for the town and us,” he said following the vote. “I think it’ll be a good marriage.”
He will lease the Three Bears ground-floor space from building owners Norm and Laura Clasen. In early 2016, Pease sought to buy the building from the Clasens to house his marijuana operation.
At the time, though, the town of Basalt had a 500-foot buffer requirement between schools, daycare centers and parks, and any cannabis-related business. It took time, and according to local newspaper accounts, legal threats, to dispense of the red tape. Finally, in February 2017, the Town Council voted to reduce the buffer to 200 feet, paving the way for marijuana businesses on Midland Avenue.
Tuesday’s vote specifically concerned the transfers of recreational and medical marijuana licenses the Clasens acquired in the spring of 2017 through a limited liability corporation. The council’s action approves the license transfers to Pease.
Before the vote, Maytin pointed out that Pease got into the marijuana business years ago when his wife, Antoinette “Toni” Angelo, was battling cancer. She passed away in April of last year.
“They gave her 30 days, but we got seven [more] years,” Pease said of his late wife’s prognosis. They were married 10 years.
“Jack carries on, delivering a good product to good people,” Maytin said. She called her client an “extremely responsible and meticulous” business owner.
Pease said his main goal is to help people through medical-marijuana sales, but he needs the recreational outlet “to pay the bills.” Recreational sales have a higher profit margin than medical transactions.
He added that he offers a high-quality product. “I think once people try us, they’ll like us,” Pease said.
Town Clerk Pam Schilling said Pease’s application was fully vetted per town ordinances and he was found to be of “good moral character,” one of many requirements. Basalt’s fire and police departments are amenable to conditional approval of Aspen Valley Station, town staff have concluded.
The only other recreational marijuana business in Basalt is Roots Rx, located at 165 Southside Drive. Basalt has a cap of two licenses each for medical and recreational pot sellers. A medical license has been approved for another company, Down Valley HYH, which has yet to open.