Aaron Anderson, the store manager, stands in front the display case at Granby’s Igadi marijuana dispensary.
Patrick Brower/ Sky-Hi News
After almost three years of legal wrangling, disputes and hearings, the IgadI cannabis dispensary opened near Granby.
The store at 843 W. Agate Ave. officially opened for business on Friday, April 1. It is open from 10 am to 6 pm during the offseason. Once summer arrives, it will be open regular hours (8 to 8 p.m.). A May Day grand-opening celebration is planned.
“We’re open, after an incredible amount of legal bills,”David Michel, general counsel at IgadI. “But we’re open. Everything’s good. We’re making sales.”
Michel stated that the building was subleased by a person who disagreed with a number of previously agreed-upon issues. This caused the opening to be stalled. “That just delayed the entire process.”
Michel indicated that there are a few minor details to be done around the building. “to get (it) where it ought to be,”He is happy with the operation at the store, however.
IgadI sued Denver last summer asking for relief from the courts to ensure that a lease agreement between IgadI, Jason McSwane, and the property sub-lessor would be honored. This was so IgadI could operate the building and get the keys.
“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 also locked out contractors from the building, misrepresented business dealings, demanded discounts on marijuana, IgadI claimed in its lawsuit. McSwane claimed that he was lied to, denied payment 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.
Northwest Land owns the property and leased it to McSwane. He was the owner and operator of Catastrophe Experts. Northwest Land hired them to remove asbestos from an 18-room motel on the site.
After Catastrophe Experts finished the work, Northwest & McSwane constructed a brand new building to be leased out as a marijuana shop. McSwane purchased a five year leasehold interest in the property in 2019, with the option to renew. McSwane contacted two different marijuana companies to sublease this space.
IgadI ultimately ended 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 stated that IgadI looks forward to being a part of the Granby community.
Granby not IgadI’s first rodeo
IgadI is a cannabis dispensary that has multiple locations in Colorado and a production plant in Tabernash.
After obtaining the necessary approvals from Grand County, the company began the process of opening a dispensary in Granby. A wide range of public comments were received at both the county and town level.
Granby wrote a formal opposition to the licensing of this store. However, in August 2020, the Grand County Board of County Commissioners approved license with a 2-1 vote. In July 2021, the county issued a certificate granting occupancy to the building.
The location of the store on U.S. Highway 40, west Granby is a problem. It is not within Granby’s town limits. Therefore, the permit fell under Grand County’s jurisdiction.
However, the store is located on land that appears to be within town limits. It does touch the north boundary of the town.
Granby Board of Trustees have always opposed a marijuana dispensary in Granby, citing the potential for increased crime and the potential adverse impact on youth.
Six years ago, strong opposition to a proposal to open a dispensary in Granby’s far west side forced the potential marijuana business owners to withdraw from the area.
Another proposal was made in northeastern Granby, near Granby Ranch. This prompted the town forcefully to annexe the land where the 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.
There was a strong possibility that the town board wouldn’t allow a marijuana dispensary in the town limits. This was primarily because the town voted against any medical marijuana operations within its limits. This vote was held two years before Colorado legalized marijuana.
Three years later, a straw poll was taken at a town meeting to determine that the majority of people opposed selling marijuana in the community. 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.
This new dispensary is the westernmost marijuana dispensary within the county. It is also the closest to Grand Lake, Hot Sulphur Springs, and Kremmling. There are no legal dispensaries in this area.