Businesses wrongly labeled as dispensaries

Two Grand Junction shops were surprised to learn from a Daily Sentinel story Sunday that the city thinks they’re selling medical marijuana.

While one of the store owners said he understood the confusion — though he’s tried to correct the city over the matter twice before — the other thought it came out of left field.

One sells glass tobacco pipes; the other does massage therapy and meditation teaching.

Neither was pleased to be included with controversial medical marijuana dispensaries.

Nick Pirelli, owner of Plant 9, 650 Main St., said he routinely offers a 10 percent discount to medical marijuana card holders, but that’s as far as he’ll go in supporting medical marijuana.

“We’re not against the medical marijuana movement. It’s just the guilt by association that our tobacco pipe store would be lumped into that same category,” Pirelli said. “We’re a locally owned business that’s been around for seven years, long before the dispensaries came. I understand that errors get made, but the city’s putting out an error that could hurt our business.”

Catie Bucher shares a 23rd Street facility with a medical marijuana dispensary, but that’s as close as she cares to get.

She’s tried to create a good reputation for her shop, which also features instruction in qigong (pronounced, ch’i gong), a Chinese meditative practice that often is associated with slow graceful movements and controlled breathing.

She said the city erroneously checked a simple box on her sales tax application that somehow placed her on the medical marijuana category, and she’s not happy about it.

“I do volunteer massage therapy at hospice with 1,500 mostly conservative people,” Bucher said. “My main clientele are woman over 50 who for the most part are conservative, so I expect some damage to my business, and I’m hoping that I don’t get any vandalism.”

Sam Rainguet, spokeswoman for the city, said both businesses have contacted the city and the errors have been corrected.

“Anything you can do to clear the name of these two businesses with regard to your Sunday story will be most appreciated,” she wrote in an e-mail to The Daily Sentinel. “The mistake is definitely on our end — their names should not have been on the list we released to you.”

Rainguet said city workers reviewed all other dispensaries and medical marijuana caregivers on its rolls Monday and said they were listed accurately. A Daily Sentinel story on the issue found 16 dispensaries operating in the Grand Valley, and 16 others that had requested city sales tax numbers, some of which are caregivers operating out of their own homes.


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