Cannabis comes to Granby with opening of new IgadI shop
For the Sky-Hi News
After nearly three years of hearings, disputes and legal wrangling the IgadI marijuana dispensary has opened near Granby.
The store, at 843 W. Agate Ave., officially started doing business on Friday, April 1. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the offseason and will have regular hours (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) once the summer arrives. A May Day grand opening celebration is planned.
“We’re open, after an incredible amount of legal bills,” said David Michel, general counsel for IgadI. “But we’re open. Everything’s good. We’re making sales.”
The opening stalled because the building was subleased from a person who disputed a variety of already-agreed-upon issues, Michel said. “That just delayed the entire process.”
Michel said there are a few minor details at the building that need to be completed “to get (it) where it ought to be,” but he is happy with the operations at the store.
IgadI filed suit last summer in Denver asking for relief from the courts so that a lease agreement between IgadI and the property sub-lessor, Jason McSwane, would be honored. That is, so that IgadI could get the keys to the building and operate.
“We had a lease and an agreement but I couldn’t get him to take our money and give us the keys,” Michel said. “I tried to give him a check and he wouldn’t take a check.”
“He wouldn’t hand over the keys so we decided to use the court system,” Michel said.
McSwane had locked contractors out of the building, misrepresented business dealings and demanded discounts on marijuana, IgadI contended in its suit. McSwane allegedly claimed that he had been lied to, denied payment for work and threatened with a lawsuit.
McSwane was sued last summer, but the suit was dismissed in February, when IgadI was given permission to get into the building by the property’s owner., who allowed IgadI to do some remodeling and operate.
The property is owned by Northwest Land, which leased it to McSwane. He owned and operated a business called Catastrophe Experts, which Northwest Land hired to provide asbestos removal at an 18-room motel at the site.
After Catastrophe Experts completed the work, Northwest and McSwane constructed a new building to be leased as a marijuana business. McSwane acquired a five-year leasehold interest of the property in 2019 with an option to renew. McSwane reached out to two different marijuana businesses offering to sublease the space.
Ultimately, IgadI ended with the lease for the property.
“The customers have supported this for so long,” said Sales Director Aaron Anderson. “We are grateful for the people who signed petitions and supported us through this process. It’s been a while, but we are here.”
He said IgadI is looking forward to being a vibrant part of the Granby business community.
Granby not IgadI’s first rodeo
IgadI is a marijuana dispensary business with multiple locations across Colorado and a production facility in Tabernash.
The company started the process of bringing a dispensary to the Granby area by getting the appropriate approvals for its permit from Grand County. Public hearings both at the county level and in the town of Granby prompted a wide range of public comments both for and against the facility.
The town of Granby officially opposed the licensing of the store in a letter to the county commissioners, but in August of 2020 the Grand County Board of County Commissioners approved the license in a 2-1 vote. The county issued a certificate of occupancy for the building in July of 2021.
A complicating factor is that the store sits on a strip of land on U.S. Highway 40 in west Granby that is not within the town limits of Granby, which is why the permitting fell under the jurisdiction of Grand County.
But the land on which the store sits appears to be in the town limits and does touch the town boundary to the north.
In the past, the Granby Board of Trustees has consistently fought against a marijuana dispensary in the Granby area, citing the chance for increased crime and the potential negative impact on area youth.
A proposal for a dispensary on the far western side of Granby was shot down due to strong opposition six years ago, prompting the potential marijuana business owners of that parcel to back out.
That was followed by another proposal in northeastern Granby near Granby Ranch, which prompted the town to forcefully annex the land on which that dispensary was proposed. The town had contiguous borders with most of the property so it could legally annex the land, even without the approval of the land’s owner.
If in the town limits, there was a very strong possibility that the town board would not permit a marijuana dispensary based primarily on a town vote against any medical marijuana operations in the town limits. That vote took place two years before marijuana was legalized in Colorado.
A straw poll taken at a town board meeting three years later, after marijuana sales were legalized in Colorado, showed a majority of the people at that meeting opposed to selling marijuana in the town. Marijuana proponents said such a straw poll wasn’t legally binding and didn’t reflect the true opinion of Granby residents and others in the Granby area.
The new dispensary is now the western-most marijuana dispensary in the county, making it the closest in-county location to Grand Lake, Hot Sulphur Springs and Kremmling, where there are no legal dispensaries.
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