Why are so many dispensaries in Colorado Springs clustered together?
Two reasons: vertical integration and zoning. And they are related to each other. Back in 2010, when medical marijuana regulations started, dispensaries had to grow 70% of the flower they sold. The vertical integration requirement is just now going away (more on that here) but at that time it made sense for most owners to lease a building where they could grow in back and have the dispensary in front.
Colorado Springs, like many communities, only allows the grow operation (called OPC or Optional Premises Cultivation due to its license type) in certain zoning areas, primarily industrial-type. So clusters can be found near Platte, Filmore, and Colorado Ave. If an owner wanted to branch out into more traditional retail space, and their grow could support the volume, it was a matter of finding a willing landlord and buying another license. More than one OPC could be associated to the same grow, as long as the ownership was the same.
Academy Blvd is an example of this trend, where many dispensaries are located with their grow located elsewhere.
With the continued growth of the City’s population toward the northeast, toward Falcon and Black Forest, why haven’t any dispensaries located in that area? No availability. With virtually 100% occupancy, suitable commercial buildings are already leased. Solution: build your own, which is why we are custom-building our store near the intersection of Powers and Stetson Hills.
Maybe not the fastest or the cheapest, but if we want to be in this part of town, it’s the only way.