After almost three years of expensive and often frustrating effort, Kale Lacroux and Justin Streeb have finally opened the doors on their medical marijuana dispensary in downtown Basalt.
Named Goodpeople, the dispensary is located in the Frying Pan Inn Building at 175 Midland Ave.
Though he diplomatically describes the effort of getting issued all the necessary permits as a learning process, you can hear both a sigh of relief and a tinge of exasperation as Lacroux utters those words.
The first, and most daunting, obstacle came about because, even though medical marijuana was approved by 56 percent of Colorado voters in 2000, marijuana in all its forms is still listed as a Schedule-1 narcotic by the federal government, alongside heroin, LSD, psilocybin and methamphetamine. Consequently, many marijuana businesses have trouble getting basic services from banks that are insured by the federally insured FDIC.
Within 24 hours of announcing that he had applied to the town of Basalt for a medical marijuana retail license, Lacroux’s fiscal world was turned upside-down.
“I got a notice from the bank where I had been doing business for years that they were closing all my accounts,” Lacroux said in an interview in November 2017. “And I mean all of them. Not only the accounts I had for my various businesses, but also my personal accounts. Even my kids’ college funds. I had been doing business with that bank for years and the amount we are talking about was up in the millions.”
Lacroux was stunned and pissed off.
“I don’t want to name names, but the branch manager of the bank where I had my personal and business accounts had come out on the record in Basalt as being against marijuana,” Lacroux said. “I think it is more than a coincidence that, shortly after our announcement, he