Medicine Man tries to recover after shutdown

Medical marijuana shop closed down after inspection found code violations

Forced to shut down in July because of code violations, Medicine Man medical marijuana shop owners hope to reopen in the new year.

“We submitted are engineering plans to the city on Monday,” said Sherry Garcia. “We’re just waiting for the permit to be approved.”

Garcia owns the business with her husband, Gilbert, and they estimate that a three-week construction window will be required to address multiple code violations that forced the business to lock its doors on July 19.

“We’ll be starting from the ground up just like we did when we opened in 2010,” she said.

In July, city leaders cited the Main Street structure that houses the dispensary was unsafe for human occupancy, forcing the business to close after numerous code violations were discovered during a routine annual building inspection.

At the time, Cortez Fire Chief Jeff Vandevoorde said the dilapidated building topped his list as the worst fire hazard he’s ever witnessed, adding that he would never send his firefighters into the structure if it were ablaze.

City attorney Mike Green confirmed that design plans have been submitted for city approval. Green said he had yet to see the construction plans but added the plans would also require state approval.

“There are some complicated electrical improvements that need to take place in that building,” said Green. “It’s the holidays, so I could only speculate on a time frame.”

Green explained that once design plans were approved and construction improvements completed, the business owners would then be required to obtain a certificate of occupancy, which also must pass strict state regulations.

Garcia declined to comment on lost revenues the company endured during the five-month closure, but she said the company has been able to maintain some 180 loyal patients.

“Our patients have been standing by patiently,” she said. “They’ve hit us up everyday wanting to know when we were going to reopen.”

Garcia is hopeful that the family business will celebrate its re-opening early in the New Year.

“The sooner the better,” she added.