An Ouray County-based retail marijuana brand with an expanding Western Slope presence was granted approval on Tuesday night to set up shop in Cortez, making it the fifth shop to obtain a license in city limits since January.
Acme Healing Center of Cortez has yet to be built, but the building is set to be located on a 16-acre parcel with the approximate address of 980 S. Broadway.
Director of planning and building Sam Proffer explained that since the shop won’t include cultivation, the permit was less complicated to process and said he had no objections to approval. There were also no objections to approval from Police Chief Roy Lane or members of the council. City attorney Mike Green was not present, but he submitted a letter about his approval.
Owner Chris Sanchez explained to Cortez City Council Tuesday night that he’d like to get work done by late summer but may wait until next spring to avoid opening during the slow winter season.
Sanchez said Cortez attracted him in part because of its tourism.
“I believe that the Western Slope will not have more than 60, 70 or 80 of these shops. We have the unique opportunity to position ourselves in locations where we’re catching tourism; we’re trying to position ourselves to capture the lions share of tourism,” said Sanchez.
Sanchez said he’s been in the marijuana business for five years, after making the switch from raising cattle and operating a tree service in Delta County.
The company currently grows its own marijuana at a facility in Ouray County that supplies its retail locations in Ridgway, Durango, Carbondale, Crestview and Durango. Sanchez says the company has 42 employees and hires locally to fill open positions.
Other business: Water meters
Other council business included the approval of D&L Construction’s bid for the Water Meter Relocation project, set to begin this spring. The project is the first part of the Public Works Departments major push to upgrade the city’s roughly 3,000 manually read water meters to smart meter technology.
Three companies submitted bids for the project: KAVE Construction at $303,535.18; D&L Construction at $354,105 and Candelaria Construction at $405,751. The engineer’s estimate for the project was $309,052.
Public Works director Phil Johnson explained that his department had reservations about the lowest bidder, KAVE Construction, which has been in business for 16 months. The company also did not provide specific experience to the city, he said.
The bid was selection was unanimously approved by city council.
Parks board members named
In addition to the bid selection, Lonn Andrews was appointed to the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Advisory Board. The term is two-years. Montezuma-Cortez High School junior and golfer Kiselya Plewe was also appointed to the Golf Advisory Board as a youth-member for a one-year term. Youth seats on city advisory boards have full voting rights.