La Plata County denies license for marijuana dispensary – The Journal


Border Buds, the proposed dispensary on the Colorado-New Mexico border, lost its bid for a La Plata County marijuana business license Tuesday.

The county’s Marijuana Licensing Authority, made up of the county’s three county commissioners, rejected the dispensary’s license application for a marijuana license after hearing county staff members’ concerns about the owners’ past compliance with the law.

“I tend to lean toward a preponderance of evidence. It’s not any one thing; it’s a whole series of brushes and misunderstandings,” said Clyde Church, county commissioner, in a meeting Tuesday. “It’s not personal. I have a concern.”

Border Buds was applying to be a retail marijuana store at 1929 U.S. Highway 550, about 2 miles north of the New Mexico border.

The owners, Joseph Calandra and Joseph Wojcik, received a state marijuana license, and in December, La Plata County commissioners voted unanimously to approve the land-use permit for the dispensary.

But during a routine application review, county staff members found issues in the backgrounds of both Border Buds owners. The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division had also shared concerns about the applicants, according to staff.

Staff members said the owners didn’t meet the county’s requirements for criminal history, disclosure and “good moral character,” which is defined in the county code. Things that can jeopardize an applicant’s “good moral character” include inconsistency in information, civil lawsuits that indicate a lack of respect for legal obligations and violations of marijuana enforcement rules.

Both Calandra and Wojcik contested the county’s assessment.

Wojcik, a licensed electrician, was involved in a civil action filed by the U.S. Attorney for the sale of counterfeit films and products on online platforms, like eBay. The government seized about $359,000 from his PayPal accounts. Wojcik said he was unaware the products were counterfeit.

“I did my due diligence. That’s one of the

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