Marijuana shop drops lawsuit against city of Steamboat amid plans to sell business
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A local marijuana dispensary dropped a lawsuit against the city of Steamboat Springs as the business owners prepare to sell their shares of the company to an Eagle County resident who operates a chain of dispensaries across the state.
The lawsuit stemmed from a Steamboat Springs City Council decision last year not to allow Rocky Mountain Remedies to move from its current location on the west end of town to a more prominent spot between downtown and Steamboat Resort.
On June 14, a Routt County judge approved a motion to dismiss the case, according to court records, following a petition from the dispensary’s owners, Ryan and Kevin Fisher, who are not related.
The two also have filed for approval to change the corporate structure of Rocky Mountain Remedies through the city. If granted, they would transition ownership to Mark Smith, CEO of Tumbleweed dispensaries, which has shops in eight other Colorado towns, such as Frisco and Avon.
Smith’s company made national headlines in 2017 after opening the nation’s first drive-through marijuana shop in Parachute.
Kevin Fisher, whose dispensary was the first in Steamboat to offer retail marijuana in 2014, is leaving the company to lead a medical marijuana company headquartered in Georgia.
He recently accepted the position of executive director of operations for Surterra Wellness, which sells cannabis products to customers in Massachusetts, Nevada, Florida and Texas.
In recent years, Fisher has been focusing on the medicinal aspects of marijuana, particularly in markets on the east coast. Advocates claim the plant can help alleviate a variety of symptoms or disorders, from chronic pain to nausea to anxiety.
“We believe there’s a wellness component to all cannabis use,” Fisher said.
Fisher founded New England Treatment Access in Massachusetts, which was one of the state’s first recreational marijuana companies. In a deal this year, Surterra acquired the business to expand its product lines and target markets.
Despite the changes, he and Ryan will remain in Steamboat for the foreseeable future.
As he considered who would take over the company, Kevin wanted to find someone who has lived in and understands mountain towns.
“This isn’t about a multi-state operator who is totally hands-off and unplugged from the community,” he said. “This is someone with a Colorado footprint.”
Under the city’s marijuana codes, this will not be a typical business sale.
“Under our codes, you can’t sell a marijuana license, so they are selling their shares of the business,” city attorney Jennifer Bock explained.
As fellow city attorney Dan Foote added, the new owner will have to pass a background check and gain approval from City Council before the transition of ownership is final. A decision about the sale is scheduled to occur during the council’s July 16 meeting.
In the future, the potential new owner could change the name of the dispensary, according to Foote, but that would require additional approval from City Council.
Kevin Fisher would not disclose the price tag of the sale. He does not expect City Council to have any problems with the transition of ownership.
“It should be a rubber stamp, and we’ll be onward and upward,” he said.
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