Medical pot shop opens in Montrose

The Western Slope is catching the eye of more than a few medical marijuana green-thumbs.

Bill Hewitt of Montrose opened a medical marijuana dispensary in Montrose this week to provide the drug to the nearly 300 registered medical marijuana users in Mesa, Montrose, Delta and Garfield counties.

Hewitt said he has been growing medical marijuana as a caregiver for patients for about a year, but TLC for THC, which is the name of his dispensary, will be his first business-front location.

“I’m not really in business,” Hewitt said. “I don’t make anything right now. I give more away than I sell.”

Drew and Richard, who declined to give their last names for fear of federal prosecution, opened Nature’s Medicine, a dispensary in Loveland, six months ago and traveled to Grand Junction in January to meet with medical marijuana users in the area.

The men said they served one Western Slope patient at their Loveland location and were planning to bring marijuana from Loveland to the Western Slope if more patients were interested.

Richard said if they had 15 to 20 regular patients in the area, the two would expand Nature’s Medicine with a location in Grand Junction.

“We’re here to find out if people want us here,” he said. “We don’t want to step on any toes.”

An amendment passed by voters in 2000 allowed medical marijuana users who have registered with the state to possess less than 2 ounces of marijuana or grow up to six marijuana plants. The amendment also allows that person to designate a caregiver, who can possess or grow the same amount of marijuana.

Dispensary owners and medical marijuana patients cannot be arrested for drug charges under local or state law in Colorado, but they can faces charges under federal law.

However, federal prosecution is rare.

Hewitt, Richard and Drew shared similar stories of starting their dispensaries. The men said they were medical marijuana users who got tired of patients having to obtain the drug they were legally able to have through illegal means.

“If you are sending patients to the street, you aren’t taking out the crime part of it,” Drew said.

“We want to supply people with a safe place to go, and get rid of the drug dealer.”


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