Stagecoach resident Jacob Wise wants to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Oak Creek in the Circle R building at Sharp Avenue and Nancy Crawford Boulevard.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Stagecoach resident Jacob Wise wants to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Oak Creek in the Circle R building at Sharp Avenue and Nancy Crawford Boulevard.

Group hopes to open medical marijuana operation in Oak Creek


If you go

What: Oak Creek Town Board meeting

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Oak Creek Town Hall

Details: The board plans to appoint a new member to replace Gerry Greenwood. Town Clerk Karen Halterman said only one person — Bernie Gagne — had applied by late Wednesday afternoon, and applications were due by the end of the day.

The town also will hear a request to waive utility fee hikes for residents of the South Routt Senior Foundation and will discuss grants to buy a water tank and renovate water treatment.

— South Routt County may have its first medical marijuana dispensary if four men get the go-ahead from the Oak Creek Town Board, but Town Board members will consider their options tonight, including a moratorium on dispensaries.

The men, who are medical marijuana providers individually, hope to band together to create a dispensary in the heart of Oak Creek. The men have rented a space down the street from Oak Creek Town Hall.

Stagecoach resident Jacob Wise, the lead applicant for the group, said the dispensary would be in the Circle R building, the former home of a bank, at Sharp Avenue and Nancy Crawford Boulevard. He said he has repaired the 7-by-9-foot vault to use for the business.

There are no current regulations for dispensaries in Oak Creek or in Colorado. Mike Saccone, spokesman for the Colorado attorney general, said dispensaries were not mentioned in state statutes. Saccone said there are “no laws technically regulating dispensaries” but that the attorney general’s office would like to have the state Legislature clarify medical marijuana laws during this legislative session. The session started Wednesday.

Tonight’s Oak Creek Town Board agenda item is scheduled only for discussion, but the board may take action or start creating ordinances at the meeting.

The dispensary group said it would apply for a building-use permit at the Jan. 20 Planning Commission meeting and that the Town Board would consider that permit at its next meeting.

Wise said he hopes to have the dispensary open by Feb. 1 to meet what his partner described as an active demand in South Routt.

“South Routt has quite a few, a fairly high percentage, of people with medical (marijuana) cards,” Karl Hubenthal said.

Hubenthal, Wise, Jon Wind­ham and Scott Sommerhoff provide marijuana as “caregivers” for 20 people and hope to expand. On Wednesday, Wise said he was recruiting new patients in Steamboat Springs.

Wise said he is a former real estate developer from Atlanta who lost millions of dollars when a couple of small banks crashed, and that he has a subdivision of 40 lots sitting empty in the Atlanta area. He said that because he couldn’t retire wealthy, he decided to retire to a job operating a dispensary in Routt County, where he said he has owned property periodically since the mid-1980s.

“Is there anything else to sell? There are no finances to sell houses,” he said.

Wise said he has never operated a dispensary before but that he is a long-term marijuana user.

“I have personally smoked pot for 40 years,” he said. “I’m a habitual smoker, and I believe in it.”

Wise said he has tried other calming drugs such as Ritalin, but did not get the relief provided by marijuana.

Hubenthal said he, Windham and Sommerhoff have been friends for years, and when they found out Wise was interested in opening a dispensary, they decided to join him.

“There are people in South Routt who can’t always get to Steamboat” to get to a dispensary, he said.

Hubenthal said the dispensary can “help them out, as well as maybe bring some revenue into the town. Oak Creek’s been hurting for a while now.”

Town board considers

Mayor J Elliott said he has heard feedback on both sides of the issue with little common ground.

“It’s a very polarizing issue; I just don’t know,” he said. “What we’ll have to do is discuss it and see the ups and downs of it.”

Elliott said he plans to study the issue more before he decides.

Trustee Josh Voorhis said he hadn’t decided what action would be best but that he was interested to hear the discussion.

“I’m pretty open-minded on the idea of a dispensary. It does provide some needed taxes to town,” he said. “There are some serious issues, though, to the dispensaries’ safety and security and how we’re going to address it.”

The Steamboat Springs City Council on Jan. 5 adopted a resolution to allow only three medical marijuana dispensaries within the city. Two can be for-profit, and one must be a cooperative. Two dispensaries had opened before the ordinance took effect, so the law effectively barred any new for-profit dispensaries in the city.

Other Colorado towns also have seen a boom in dispensaries since the state legalized medical marijuana. The city of Denver has issued more than 300 sales-tax licenses for dispensaries, according to a Jan. 3 article in The Denver Post. That is more than the number of Starbucks coffee shops in the Denver area, the article noted.

Neighbors don’t object

Owners of two businesses that share the Circle R building with the dispensary site said Wednesday that they had talked about the project with the dispensary owners and that they don’t have a problem with the business.

Lawrence Jaconetta, who owns a tattoo parlor in the building, said the business could be successful as medical marijuana gains momentum in Colorado.

“As long as it generates revenue, I’m not opposed to it,” he said. “Let’s face it, Colorado is in the a gold rush for medical marijuana right now.”

Black Mountain Tavern owner Dan Bubenheim said his next-door neighbor could even generate business for his restaurant, and he supports the idea of more business in the town.

“I think … it will create a lot of good taxes for the town,” he said. “Especially in this economy, I think everybody needs everything they can, and it would be nice for the town to get that.”


MrTaiChi 7 years, 2 months ago

Unusual framing or cropping on the photo.

What observation was the photographer communicating with the empty space on the wall behind the subject?


trump_suit 7 years, 2 months ago

I think I will open a dispensery in Willow Creek Pass right next to Aich's house.

Mr Tai. Do you think the photographer was protecting or hiding the identity of the person next to the subject? Who might that be, and why?


aichempty 7 years, 2 months ago


Knock yourself out. Bring lots of money to pay legal fees. If you think the feds are bad, just wait until you deal with my HOA.

Gosh, I finally appreciate them : - )


JLM 7 years, 2 months ago

You just have to love the picture, the framing, the content and the face. Does this not scream MARIJUANA to you?

Nothing says MARIJUANA like this picture! LOL

Good luck in your future endeavors!


aichempty 7 years, 2 months ago


I'm buying you a virtual beer for that one.


mama 7 years, 2 months ago

Wow. Haiti is in ruins and the Pilot runs this as front page news. Medical marijuana is a given - accept it - move on. Pilot - please get your priorities straight.


freerider 7 years, 2 months ago

I see the usual Fasicts are here posting , AICH , JLM , SEEUSKI , that's it boys keep up your verbal vomit against pot ...Deaths by Pharmaceudical drugs last year= over 150 thousand .....death by marijuana =0 .....way to go fools ....just keep on supporting corporate profits and drug cartels . What's the matter boys ...running out of vomit for your posts so you have to attack the messenger ?? Typical American sheep ...I can picture each one of you idiots with the body of a sheep and the head of an Ostrich ..baaaa baaaaa baaaaaa I think I hear your mother calling


Fred Duckels 7 years, 2 months ago

freerider, Your volitility explains your support for pot. I am more than miffed at not being included on your list of dimwits.


aichempty 7 years, 2 months ago


Give it a break, one note. It doesn't matter if marijuana didn't kill anybody.

Oh, some friends of my step son in another state were coming home from a "party" last night and ran off the road and hit a utility pole. One of them is in ICU with a broken neck, brain damage and ruined life. He might not have been smoking marijuana at the "party," but if he wasn't, it was because they ran out.

So can't you just figure out that none of us who are against legalization of pot are FOR legalization of all the other stuff either? It's not like we run around encouraging people to take medicine. I, for one, avoid it and discourage others from taking medication because of all the side effects.

My wife takes meds for high cholesterol. Her father died of a heart attack at 45. I think that might be an exception.

My father takes blood thinners. He's had 10 coronary bypass grafts. Maybe that's okay too.

Pot may help some people but it's not a replacement for every other drug on the planet.

So, worry about the lift operations, or the grooming, or the snow making, or whatever else it is you do to "ride free" and realize that some of what you say occasionally makes sense, but so far, not today.


Glenn Little II 7 years, 2 months ago

Oak Creek is lucky. Sounds like there are some jealous people on here. Maybe the money is not why they are doing it. They will make money because none of us here were quick enough to think of the same idea. They are doing it just despite of all of you naysayers. Don't you learn?


upstream 7 years, 2 months ago

mama, i could not agree more...while the whole world is responding to massive destruction in Haiti, the Steamboat Enquirer believes this to be the most compelling story of the day. What a shame. by the way- do dispensaries pay sales tax? i thought this was a major loophole in the legislation, but the whole mess has gotten to be pretty confusing.


JLM 7 years, 2 months ago

@ free ---

C'mon, free, babe, you know that picture says it all.

The reason his hands are not showing? Cause he's got a joint in hand! Nobody can look that loopy unless he's stoned.

The smile and facial demeanor? It doesn't say --- hey, dude, I am really feeling wasted right now, dude! Dude? Where did you get this outrageous stuff, Dude? Dude?

The cockeyed composition of the picture? Can't you just see the stoner who took that picture? He had the wrong eye closed when he was sighting the camera through the aperture!

The picture is a thing of beauty and it screams --- yeah, MEDICAL marijuana, right? LOL

Have a little sense of humor, free. It won't kill ya, babe. Smile, you know it's funny as hell!


jk 7 years, 2 months ago

I know these stories all make for a good banter, but maybe after the pilot learns how to crop a photo they could do a little investigative journalism. I would like to know why in these times of economic hardship people are so worried about an mmj dispensary, but nobody seems to care about the city plows driving up and down the streets sharpening their plow blades on dry pavement?? It just seems like a terrible waste of funds to drive a plow truck loaded with scoria up and down dry streets with the blade down.There must be a better way to get them sharp. (insert sarcastic tone where necessary)


Glenn Little II 7 years, 2 months ago

This cure is a way to see more green jobs stimulate the economy and hope people stop cutting down trees and using hemp crops for fuel, food, paper.. A cure for global starvation and Co2 emissions and climate change.. What is all natural gasoline and 100% Bio-degradable.. Trees take a lifetime to grow and hemp takes 3 moths.. 1acre Hemp = 4acres Trees. Look up shelled hemp seed and the great benefits nutrition has to offer. I just can't get enough..


JLM 7 years, 2 months ago

@ jk ---

A pretty decent metalworker with a DeWalt 5" angle grinder and a "metal grinding" disk could put a pretty damn good edge on a plow blade in about 30 minutes of grinding. You might not be able to shave with it though. That would take about 60 minutes. LOL

An experienced metalworker could teach a chimpanzee to handle a DeWalt 5" angle grinder in about 10 minutes.


jk 7 years, 2 months ago

@JLM Yea no kidding Sherlock, Yet the city can't learn this process and finds it necessary to plow dry streets to get the desired effect. I'm guessing they must be sharpening their blades 'cause they sure weren't plowing any snow.( again insert sarcastic tone where necessary)


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