Marijuana-Infused Patch Maker Seeks To Open Production Facility In Aspen

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A Snowmass man has applied for a license to produce a marijuana-infused skin patch in Aspen, while the city's Licensing Authority will hold hearings next week for two medical pot dispensaries that want to go retail. Josh Meacham wants to convert the former Poppies restaurant, a vacant Victorian home near Aspen's S-curves, into a marijuana infused products facility that will make the patches. Meacham is seeking a medical license, meaning the patches could only be sold to medical marijuana patients; the city is not accepting new recreational license applications until Oct. 15, unless the business is an existing medical marijuana purveyor.

Meacham declined comment on the details of his plans until his license is finalized, but he described his product as "exciting and cutting-edge technology." Others have attempted to produce and market a patch that delivers marijuana's psychotropic properties directly into the bloodstream through the skin, but Meacham said the version he is developing is different.

According to Meacham's application on file with the city, his business, if approved, will not have a public retail component or sales floor. The production of the patches will not involve any "propane extraction" or flames, and THC oil will be delivered in order to make the patches, which help alleviate "serious medical conditions," according to the application. The intent is to market them statewide, the application says. The city's Licensing Authority, which handles marijuana and liquor licenses, will consider Meacham's application on Oct. 7. According to City Clerk Linda Manning, Meacham also has an application pending with the state of Colorado, which must also license his business.

At its Tuesday, Sept. 2 meeting, the Licensing Authority will consider applications from existing medical marijuana dispensaries Aspen LEAF and Alternative Medical Solutions to enter the retail market. LEAF is also seeking permission to produce retail goods at its infused products manufacturing facility, which is currently only licensed for medical. AMS is located above El Rincon at 106 S. Mill St. It was one of the first medical marijuana businesses in town. It recently reapplied for and received a new state medical marijuana license after restructuring its business.

Aspen LEAF, which also opened in 2009, is currently located in a basement space in the alley behind the Johnny McGuire's building on Cooper Avenue. The dispensary is renovating a space in the North of Nell building on Galena Street, and plans to move there. It is seeking a retail license for its new space less than a block from the Silver Queen Gondola.

LEAF also wants a retail license for its infused products manufacturing operation, located in the Cooper Avenue basement. However, according to Manning, the fire department is concerned about open-flame extraction techniques being used in a basement space. Colorado voters in 2012 – including 75 percent of Aspen's electorate – legalized the sale and use of recreational marijuana to anyone over 21 years of age. The first recreational dispensaries in the state opened on Jan. 1. Starting in 2009, medical marijuana dispensaries began proliferating across the state.



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