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Lakewood is slowly transitioning to recreational pot, with five of the city’s ten existing medical dispensaries approved for retail sales on April 13, according to Lakewood licensing specialist Jessica Claussen. However, those stores are still working toward a retail launch.
Since Colorado legalized recreational cannabis in 2014, Lakewood has only permitted medical dispensaries, but that changed in November, when voters approved recreational dispensaries within city limits through a citizen-initiated ordinance.
Dispensary chains Ascend Cannabis, Golden Meds, Kaya Cannabis, Levels and the Clinic have all been approved for retail marijuana sales, with licenses and modification permits slowly rolling out, according to Claussen.
Although only five stores have been approved so far, the remaining dispensaries are making sure they don’t lag behind. Lakewood only allows existing medical dispensaries in good standing to apply for retail marijuana licenses, and building modification permits are required to separate recreational and medical marijuana sales for businesses that choose to serve both.
Recreational cultivation is also permitted under the ordinance, and Lakewood Public Information Officer Stacie Oulton anticipates heavy interest among business operators.
Ascend Cannabis, a medical dispensary in Lakewood since 2010, recently opened one of Littleton’s first retail marijuana dispensaries but is still waiting on approval from Lakewood to modify its current medical dispensaries for recreational sales, according to owner Scott Embree.
“It could be a long process due to COVID, since the city doesn’t have many people overlooking [permits] at the moment,” he explains. “It’s about time.”
The Clinic has been serving medical marijuana patients in Lakewood since 2014, and has plans to add additional 200 square feet for recreational sales