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Gas & Grass opens, legalization round-up



Native Roots has given new meaning to the term 'gas or grass.' - CRAIG LEMLEY
  • Craig Lemley
  • Native Roots has given new meaning to the term 'gas or grass.'

Cheap gas, legit grass

Last week, Denver-based medical marijuana company Native Roots invited the Independent to preview one of its two local combination gas station/dispensaries, named Gas & Grass. Located at Academy Boulevard and Galley Road, the business is bringing in new customers with an alluring offer: cheap gas.

Chief compliance executive Dave Cuesta says those who have registered Native Roots as their caregiver will get 15 cents off every gallon of gas they buy at a Gas & Grass location. If someone who isn't a patient has made a purchase from the dispensary side of Native Roots, they'll get 5 cents off per gallon. And anyone who newly registers Native Roots as their caregiver will get a free tank of gas.

The gas station has a sales window with lottery tickets and a selection of tobacco products, including — no surprise — a dense rack of blunt wraps. On the dispensary side, technically a separate business for compliance reasons, you'll find Native Roots house brand flower and concentrates, including shatter, wax and a coconut oil-based concentrate. Though Andreas Nilsson, who manages both Colorado Springs Gas & Grass locations, says the company isn't producing any solventless extracts at the moment, he says it's "looking at putting that on shelves as soon as we are able to."

Native Roots opened its first local dispensary-only site this past July, and according to Cuesta, the response has been positive. "Our patients have come to expect superb quality marijuana, a very comfortable shopping atmosphere [and] an informative shopping atmosphere," he says.

The Galley station opened in full last Saturday, Nov. 7. As for the second station at Uintah and 17th streets, Cuesta says we can expect its debut within three weeks.

Win one, lose one

Mexico's Supreme Court has affirmed Mexican citizens' fundamental right to grow, consume and transport marijuana. As reported on the IndyBlog, a Mexican marijuana club called the Mexican Association for Responsible Self-Consumption and Tolerance (SMART) had claimed that getting high was part of the country's constitutional doctrine of free development of personality; the court agreed. The decision only affects SMART right now, but it opens the door for more lawsuits and/or nationwide legalization.

Back in the States, Ohio voters last week soundly defeated Issue 3, which would have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana sales. The issue would have forced Ohio to source all of its weed from 10 grow operations, all of which were determined before polling day. Washington Post columnist Jonathan Adler called the structure — while not technically a monopoly — "crony capitalism at its worst."

Only 36 percent of voters backed the measure, but National Cannabis Industry Association executive director Aaron Smith sees that as something to build on. In a statement released on election night, he said "the foundation has been laid for a potential 2016 effort that would put forward a more common-sense initiative and have a major impact on the presidential conversation in the process."

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