by Marissa Lorenz
Residents of the Town of Kremmling can expect to see ballots for the Municipal Election appearing in their post office boxes on which they will be asked whether the Town Board should lift the current ban on retail and medical marijuana sales within town limits. And while opinions have been offered for and against, one person who is hoping that the measure passes is Mark Wellstone, owner of Blue Heron Dispensary in Oak Creek.
Wellstone approached the Kremmling Town Council over a year ago asking that they lift the ban that has been upheld in previous Board votes. At the time of Wellstone’s presentation, council member Erik Woog suggested that the decision be put to the voters, stating that “it was the Board’s responsibility to represent what constituents want.” And while a lifting of the ban would mean that any business could approach the Town for licensing, Wellstone has been ready to do so, wanting to bring Blue Heron to Kremmling, offer “top-quality products and a first-class customer experience” to locals and visitors, and create three to four new jobs in the process.
Blue Heron Dispensary opened in Oak Creek in August 2014. It calls itself a “boutique recreational dispensary” and says, “We are proud to have the best selection of the highest quality flower in Northwest Colorado with a carefully curated top-shelf selection of hand-crafted strains grown by very select, experienced master growers whose specialty is pure, potent, ethically sourced cannabis. We’re known not just for our great selection of product and friendly, knowledgeable staff, but also for our commitment to educate our customers on the safe consumption of cannabis products and the law.”
Wellstone further explains that, from the beginning, the business model was intended to “focus heavily on good stewardship within the community, contributing a positive impact wherever we can.” He states that they have fostered close relationships with residents, the Town Council, and local law enforcement and participate regularly in community events. “We want to be part of the community.
We love the small town and love knowing our customers so that we can treat our locals well. And for years, I’ve thought that Kremmling would be a great spot to be.”
He recalls the last five years as “a great opportunity to learn the industry, including the compliance side of the industry.
We pride ourselves on being good representatives of the industry and our ability to keep up with rules and regulations that have undergone a lot of changes. (…) The industry has matured a lot in that time. It’s
a regular business that operates just like any other, and a lot of the earlier fears have gone away.”
If the ban were lifted and an ordinance written, Wellstone says Blue Heron would be at the table to participate in any Town meetings.
He states that while Kremmling has a lot of interesting locations, it’s impossible to have pre-picked a location, before knowing what would “jive” with the Town Council. The goal though would be a storefront with visibility for those passing through where he would train in a manager with a few people working below that, working to fill positions locally. “There are lots of positive things that we can do to impact the community and we want Kremmling to have a stake in the industry. It’s a great town.”
by Marissa Lorenz