Englewood's Vote to Ban Pot Clubs Latest Challenge to iBake, Thurlow Weed

Late last month, we noted that Adams County had moved to shut down iBake Denver, a marijuana club that had been operating in the area for more than three years.

The owner of iBake Denver, who goes by the name Thurlow Weed, subsequently told us that he would use his life savings in the fight to save the business.

Now, he's likely got another battle ahead of him.

Weed also runs iBake Englewood — but on Monday, June 6, the Englewood City Council voted to ban pot clubs in the area. And while this decision doesn't necessarily seal iBake Englewood's fate — there's still the possibility it could be grandfathered in — the officials' decision suggests that they'd like to bid farewell to the operation.

One item that could get under their skin: In a new business application on view below, iBake Englewood is described as specializing in "hats, shirts, photographs, cigarettes, pipes, other forms of tobacco (i.e. chewing, e-cigs, etc.)." 

Weed used a similar tactic in Adams County.

"One thing we've stressed is that we're not a marijuana club" — at least not technically, he maintained in an interview published on June 1.

"We're kind of like a Costco membership pipe-and-tobacco shop. There are exemptions to Colorado Clean Air Act rules about smoking inside a building, and those include retail tobacco shops, which must have 5 percent of their sales go to tobacco — and that includes snuff, chewing tobacco and cloves."

That's close, as we noted previously. The State of Colorado's list of exemptions to the Clean Air Act includes "Cigar-Tobacco Bar," as long as such businesses meet the following provisions:

• Licensed under Article 47 of Title 12 CRS

• Liquor license primarily for sale of alcohol, food is secondary

• 5% or $50,000 of annual gross income from sale of tobacco, tobacco products and rental of on-site humidors. Not including sales from vending machines.

• Must have met this threshold in calendar year ending December 31, 2005

• If revenue falls below this threshold, cigar-tobacco bar designation will be lost

• Cannot expand or change size and location as of December 31, 2005
Not that iBake Denver was registered with Adams County as a "cigar-tobacco bar."

Indeed, Weed acknowledged that he didn't change its previous zoning designation as a motorcycle-accessory business; he claims an Adams County employee told him that doing so was unnecessary.

There's been no direct acknowledgment that publicity surrounding Adams County's targeting of iBake Denver (and Weed's subsequent comments about his past criminal activity, which he stresses that he's put behind him) inspired Englewood's sudden interest in iBake Englewood, not to mention the subsequent pot-club ban. But it's difficult to imagine that the proximity of these actions is entirely coincidental.

In the meantime, Denver NORML is using Englewood's actions as another example of why it's collecting signatures to put a measure allowing marijuana social clubs on the Denver ballot, as noted in the following 7News report. That's followed by the aforementioned Englewood business application.

IBake Englewood New Business Application

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts