Speaking to members of Julesburg City Council, Janice Kilpatrick of Wild West Weed & Seed (3WS) told council that 3WS has been an active business since 2015 and asked council to consider approving a license for a dispensary. Marijuana Retail Store at 15276 Hwy US 385, near the I-76 interchange.
3WS currently operates a hemp apothecary and often turns away customers looking to buy marijuana and sends them to dispensaries outside of Julesburg. As such, Julesburg loses significant sums in sales tax and excise revenue.
Kilpatrick estimated that if a marijuana license were granted, 3WS could be open for retail as early as six months. She estimated that the dispensary would employ 12 to 14 full-time positions.
Mike Harrison of MiMar Construction also applied for a license to practice marijuana. Harrison is the current owner of the Campbell Addition property and is expected to build over 20 homes there. His now deceased partner, Mark Hernandez also owned property in and around the old Flying J, near the I-76 interchange and new Jenkins Street.
Harrison provided the board with chips indicating that he and his investors are providing approximately $ 10 million in financial assistance to support the city of Julesburg’s professional and sustainable business investments. Their joint partnership builds on decades of experience developing, building and managing facilities in large-scale, multi-million dollar retail, commercial, residential and industrial developments.
“We’re looking to bring more to the community,” Harrison said. Harrison explained that interstate companies such as Love’s and Flying J would be interested in building in the area, but want to see a minimum of six pieces of data before committing to building a new hotel or retail store on the site.
Harrison has offered to allow himself and his investors to build a retail dispensary on the site. This business would employ up to 16 people at $ 20 an hour. He would also like to build a grow op that could employ up to 70 people and earn up to $ 23 an hour. Harrison and his investors have estimated that the tax base with new families in the community could increase between $ 300,000 and $ 500,000 per year as families buy, eat and refuel their vehicles locally. Harrison called it a “ripple effect.”
Sitting in the audience, Jon Atkins said, “Julesburg has to do something. Chris (Schiller from 3WS) employs more people than Dollar General.
Harrison said he would expect within two years he and his investors could be 100% up and running with a grow facility.
The board asked Harrison what experience he and the investors have had with marijuana. He told them they had Golden Meds in Aurora.
Administrator Keith Law recalled that when the board had previously spoken with the late Mark Hernandez, Hernandez did not want a cannabis business near Project I-76. Harrison responded by saying it was Hernandez’s personal belief, but that he changed his mind just before he passed away.
Administrator Kelly Mast told Harrison he had never seen a marijuana dispensary near a truck stop and Harrison said he should expect the change.
Harrison told the board: “The world is changing. Either change or stay behind.
Julesburg resident Barry Emerson addressed the board of directors on behalf of 3WS saying his wife had been employed by the hemp retailer. He said the owner is waiting to open a dispensary and is not asking for more than a marijuana license and they could be up and running in six months.
The board has options for passing the sale of marijuana. The first could be a citizens’ initiative to put the question on a ballot. This has already been done twice and failed each time by the voters of Julesburg.
A second option would require the municipal council to draft the question of the ballot and submit it again to the vote of the population.
Finally, the board could choose to vote for the measure at a meeting. A popular vote would still be necessary. Voters would be asked how much tax to collect on each sale of marijuana.
The earliest such a question could be on the ballot would be April 2022. Attorney Jeff Wells will present drafts of the marijuana issue at the November meeting for consideration.
As the board heads to its annual budget workshops, Racecourse President Dennis Hill and his wife Marcia Hill have called on the board to continue supporting the Arts Center. Hill told the board the racetrack has continued to survive the COVID pandemic thanks to its team of volunteers, support from the community and the region.
Since the appearance of the virus, average attendance has declined. In 2018, attendance was 197 per weekend. More recently, attendance was 87 per weekend. Annual events at the Art Center have dropped from 110 in 2019 to just 25 in 2020. By the end of September, there had been 68 events so far this year. Last weekend, the racetrack hosted the Beverly Belles and sold 131 of the 161 tickets available. Soon, the exhibitions in the art gallery will resume.
The couple asked the board to consider providing utility credits as they have done in the past.
Greg Bell, President of the Ft. The Sedgwick Historical Society updated the Board of Trustees on Project Depot. Obtaining building materials was a challenge. Currently, landscaping is in progress. He told the board that he expected there would be a “pre-review” of the project in mid-December.
Bell has asked the board to once again consider providing utility credits to museums in fiscal year 2022.
The discussion then turned to housing development at the Campbell Addition. Previously, Harrison had asked the board to start building the streets in the addition. On Monday evening, he told the board that developments are being built from behind so as not to disrupt the daily lives of people living in the community. He also told the board that installing streets would allow him to buy more materials if he could build 10 houses at a time. Harrison told council he wanted to be able to provide affordable housing for residents and estimated that each house would cost around $ 280,000.
Under the guidance of Attorney Wells, the council passed a resolution supporting the increase in sales tax for the purpose of building a new municipal swimming pool. See page 2 of this week’s edition of the Julesburg Advocate. The construction of the swimming pool is expected to cost $ 3.5 million. The ballot question is $ 2.5 million.
The next board of directors will be held on Monday, November 8, 2021 at 7 p.m.