Grand County approves license for 2nd Tabernash pot op
January 27, 2015
The Grand County Board of Commissioners has voted unanimously to grant a retail marijuana infused products manufacturer license to a marijuana products manufacturer in Tabernash.
The board approved the license for RM Concepts on Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 27.
Rudy Miick, a Boulder-based business management consultant and owner of RM Concepts, called his business a "values driven, purpose driven company."
RM Concepts is the second marijuana products manufacturer to be licensed in Grand County. IgadI Ltd., also in Tabernash, was licensed this month.
Though IgadI's application drew considerable fanfare, the public hearing for RM Concepts attracted a much smaller crowd.
RM Concepts focuses on the wholesale production of concentrates and oils from marijuana trimmings, Miick said.
The products are then sold to other businesses.
RM Concepts will also produce its own branded products including salves and tinctures, which it will sell wholesale to other retailers, Miick said.
The company will not produce edibles, Miick said.
"We're not doing edibles and we're not gonna," he said.
Much of the debate surrounding IgadI's licenses focused on odor from marijuana plants and security concerns from on-site sales. Other issues included water use for growing and increased traffic from customers.
Because RM Concepts does not grow or sell its products on site, it was able to side-step some of the most contentious issues that dominated the public hearing for IgadI's licenses.
"It is a low impact business," said Brian Tannenbaum, an attorney for RM Concepts, during the hearing. "It's not a dispensary. They're simply producing oils and concentrates."
Miick said during the hearing that his company had also applied for a medical marijuana infused products manufacturers license.
David Michel, general counsel for IgadI and a resident within the 2-mile radius surrounding RM Concepts, spoke in favor of the business during the public comment portion of the hearing.
"Reviewing the application, I do think this is good," Michel said. "I think it's industry. I think it's jobs here in Colorado. I don't see a real negative."
Michel said there wasn't an issue with the proximity to IgadI, calling RM Concepts purely industrial extraction "a very different activity" from IgadI.
But other residents still had concerns.
Tabernash resident and business owner William Rigger said that, though he was neither for nor against the business, he was concerned about possible odors from the company's extraction process and asked the commissioners if there was any recourse for Tabernash residents if there was odor.
"I'm all for people starting businesses, legal businesses," Rigger said. "This is America, but I'm also concerned about the quality of life in my neighborhood."
County Attorney Jack DiCola reiterated the county's policy that mandates marijuana businesses contain odor under penalty of losing their license.
RM Concepts' marijuana management plan also includes purchasing air filter scrubbers to clean air leaving the plant.
Another recurrent concern was whether wastewater from RM Concepts would cause issues with water treatment, though Miick said that water in his operation did not come into contact with the marijuana products.
The board ultimately approved the license with conditions. The board will hear a resolution including those conditions on Feb. 10 at 3 p.m.
Board to consider tax increases, possible moratorium
County Commissioner Kristen Manguso openly supported increasing the fees for marijuana license applications as well as exploring the possibility of a temporary moratorium in Grand County.
"So I would be in favor of after this, at least for the Tabernash area, of let's take a little break and see how this works," Manguso said.
Commissioner Merritt Linke said he "would tend to agree" with Manguso.
The issue of an excise tax on manufacturing, which has been raised previously, surfaced again at the hearing for RM Concepts' license.
Grand County resident Rich Rosene questioned whether the $500 application fee was enough to cover the costs to the county, including law enforcement and EMS costs.
Though Manguso didn't acknowledge the scope of societal impacts that Rosene mentioned, she said she believed a fee increase would help cover the costs to the county of reviewing applications.
Manguso told the Sky-Hi News that it was unclear when the topics would come before the board.
Hank Shell can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610.