The City of Denver and Denver Recreational Dispensary have reached a settlement that will allow the marijuana business to remain open.
Better known as Den-Rec
, the company operates two dispensaries and two growing operations in Denver, but was facing potential license revocation
by the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses. The department had charged Den-Rec with violations of eleven marijuana licensing rules, including the unlawful sale or distribution of marijuana and having a licensee with a criminal history — after co-owner Marc Monaco was arrested in 2021 for allegedly trying to sell around 22 pounds of marijuana to a police informant.
Monaco pleaded guilty to a single marijuana concentrate conspiracy charge in February and the other charges were dropped, according to the Denver District Attorney's Office; he received probation.
Because Monaco was technically still part of Den-Rec ownership, according to documents filed with Excise and Licenses, the department pursued disciplinary action while the stores remained open, with Den-Rec's Denver business licenses on the line.
Now, under a March 17 agreement between the two parties, Den-Rec has ninety days to remove Monaco "from all business operations and ownership" in order to keep its licenses. If Den-Rec fails to do so, commits another marijuana code violation or sells part of the business back to Monaco within a year of the agreement, Den-Rec ownership must voluntarily surrender all marijuana business licenses in Denver and pay a $50,000 fine. In the meantime, Den-Rec's Denver locations are open, as is a third dispensary in Lyons.
Excise and Licenses declined to comment on the settlement. Den-Rec co-owner Ryan Buffkin says the business is "completely compliant" and had "nothing to do with" any illegal marijuana sales.
According to a Denver Police Department report on Monaco's arrest
, a confidential police informant had agreed to buy 22 pounds of marijuana for a total of $44,000 from Monaco, with Monaco providing a little under seven pounds at the time and arranging for the rest to be picked up at his residence later that day. A DPD detective obtained a warrant to search Monaco's house, where he reportedly found just under 17 pounds of marijuana, as well as "several additional pounds of marijuana, $143,866 in cash, several firearms, a heat sealer, a digital scale, a money counter, two ledgers, and miscellaneous packaging items."
has been unable to reach Monaco, whose ownership license with the state Marijuana Enforcement Division
is currently suspended.