Recreational pot sales commence at Lincoln Avenue location |

Recreational pot sales commence at Lincoln Avenue location

Golden Leaf recently opened its doors for recreational marijuana. Pictured are, from right, co-owner Golden Leaf Anderson, and employees Anita Hartley, Ji Hwang and Carly Grier.

— Routt County residents and visitors now have a choice when it comes to buying marijuana for recreational use.

After several delays and complications, Golden Leaf dispensary at 1755 Lincoln Ave. on Friday became Steamboat Springs' second dispensary to sell a variety of cannabis products to both licensed patients and any adult who is at least 21 years old.

Dispensary co-owner Golden Anderson said recreational sales started out kind of slow, but business has been picking up.

"It's just all about getting our name out there right now," Anderson said.

Customers on Wednesday included a teacher who was visiting Steamboat from Salt Lake City. Anderson said he has had parents come in with their adult children with plans to get high as a family.

"It's pretty interesting to see that," Anderson said. "All walks of life to see what Colorado is all about."

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Lines were not out the door like they were when Steamboat's first recreational dispensary opened Jan. 8. About 230 made purchases at Rocky Mountain Remedies, or RMR, that day.

Anderson said Golden Leaf fills a niche in the Steamboat marijuana market, and their visible location on the main drag with a nearby bus stop should be good for business and convenient for customers.

"My two things are organic products and customer service," Anderson said.

To produce organic buds, Anderson said Golden Leaf uses organic plant-based foods to nourish its plants. That leads to a healthier and better quality product, he said.

"To me it's like a restaurant," Anderson said. "If the food's good, people will come."

Golden Leaf also seeks to be green when it comes to running the business. Budtender Anita Hartley said they make all their own cleaning products and recycle and reuse whenever possible.

"I think that's something special," Hartley said.

Golden Leaf will be open seven days per week from 10 a.m to 7 p.m. On Wednesday, they had 25 strains of marijuana for sale in the form of buds. Marijuana-infused products being resold at Golden Leaf included teas, breath mints, chocolate and sunflower seeds. Similar to what RMR experienced, Anderson said he was surprised by the popularity of the edibles.

"I just think it's people wanting to consume it in the healthiest way possible," said Anderson, who moved to Colorado from New Mexico to experience and be part of the "green rush."

Anderson is not concerned about meeting the customer demand for buds, but keeping edibles in stock is a challenge for Golden Leaf and many other dispensaries in Colorado.

"Right now, the edible companies are back-ordered like crazy," Anderson said.

The Steamboat Springs City Council approved Golden Leaf's license March 4 in a 5-2 vote. Before that, Golden Leaf had failed city inspections, and city officials expressed concerns about the "moral character" of co-owner Josh Scruggs. Anderson said Scruggs is separating from the business, leaving the ownership to himself and Charlie Magnuson.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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