Local licensing rules in Longmont could force one of the town's dispensaries to close or be sold.
When Longmont City Council opted into recreational marijuana sales in 2017, the newly formed local rules limited the town to four dispensaries and banned the same entity from owning more than one store. All four dispensary licenses were then awarded to dispensary chains, two of which — Medicine Man and the Green Solution — were eventually acquired by Columbia Care Inc., a publicly traded marijuana corporation in New York.
After sealing the Green Solution deal in 2020, Columbia Care paid $42 million in a stock-heavy acquisition for Medicine Man earlier this year, announcing that the deal added "one cultivation facility and four dispensaries to Columbia Care’s Colorado operations." At the time, Medicine Man owned four dispensaries in Colorado, with stores in Aurora, Denver, Longmont and Thornton.
However, Columbia Care CEO Nicholas Vita didn't include Longmont among the towns in his statement praising the deal, only listing Aurora, Denver and Thornton. And despite announcing that the deal added four Medicine Man dispensaries to Columbia Care's portfolio, the company now says in a statement to Westword, "Columbia Care acquired three Medicine Man dispensaries, excluding Longmont, and their cultivation facility in the initial transaction, with the option to acquire the fourth dispensary," adding that Medicine Man Longmont is still "owned by a separate entity," and Columbia Care was aware of Longmont's local licensing rules before acquiring Medicine Man.
Vander Veer, who remained the CEO of Medicine Man after the purchase, declined to comment on the Longmont transition, referring questions to Columbia Care. The Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division already lists the Green Solution under Columbia Care ownership, while Medicine Man's founding group of Andy Williams, Pete Vasquez and Sally Vander Veer are still listed as Medicine Man Longmont's owners.
City of Longmont Public Information Officer Rigo Leal confirms that if Columbia Care closes on Medicine Man in 2022 as publicly intended, Longmont city code would force the Green Solution's license to be sold or vacated.
According to Leal, Longmont will accept new marijuana dispensary applications or reconsider applications already on file if one of the four licenses is vacated or expired. But that process probably wouldn't happen if Columbia Care sells the Green Solution before closing on Medicine Man Longmont.
Although Columbia Care didn't say which of the two stores would be open under company ownership in the future, the statement did allude to moves in the works.
"We are in the process of finalizing plans for the market and will be making an announcement as soon as the details are ready to be made public," the Colombia Care statement reads.