High Country: Behind the design of Dalwhinnie Farms, downtown's newest (and fanciest) dispensary – Aspen Times

A $14,700 crystal saddle by Aspen-based artist James Vilona is available for purchase. Dalwhinnie Farms plans to rotate its roster of showpieces seasonally.
Courtesy Dalwhinnie Farms

In rural Ridgway, Colorado, what was once a dressage riding arena on a 230-acre equestrian ranch transformed into a 30,000-square-foot indoor cannabis cultivation in 2019. Two years later and a few hours north, Dalwhinnie Farms debuted a retail extension — a fancy, flagship boutique in the downtown core.

Dalwhinnie Farms is deliberately extravagant. It’s why the family-owned company chose Aspen over nearby Telluride.

Dalwhinnie Farms-branded cashmere blankets, candles, apparel, accouterments and equestrian-style leather goods compliment its cannabis.
Courtesy Dalwhinnie Farms

“Our roots are very much in Colorado, and few towns are more Colorado than Aspen. You can be luxe without being snooty, and that’s part of the ethos that inspires the Dalwhinnie Farms brand,” shared Dalwhinnie Farms CEO Terrence Mendez. “We grow and sell premiere flower, absolutely, but we also have a lot of fun while doing so. We also felt that Aspen needed a cannabis boutique that fit alongside iconic businesses like the Hotel Jerome, St. Regis or The Little Nell. We designed the store to be unlike any other cannabis dispensary on Earth.”

But it was a long road (pun very intended) to get here. The pandemic and construction delays (working closely with the city’s Historic Preservation Commission) pushed the grand opening from spring to fall last year, with its doors originally opening in September. Before that, the Dalwhinnie name made headlines for a Clean Colorado roadway sponsorship. What was intended to be a generous community-building gesture resulted in an attempt to censor cannabis with an official complaint from Pitkin County sent to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). The signs are legal and remain in place on its

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