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Trinidad City Council denies marijuana business application

TRINIDAD — Trinidad City Council unanimously denied a business application to the owner of The Spot Riverside recreational marijuana dispensary following a pubic hearing during their regular meeting Tuesday, March 3 at city hall. Robert Lucero, owner of Colorado Cannabis Associates, LLC / dba The Spot Riverside, appeared before city council where he was questioned by Trinidad City Attorney Les Downs about his background as a business owner, and the specifics of the multiple marijuana-specific related licenses he currently holds. Lucero is the owner of The Spot 420 recreational and medical dispensary in Pueblo West. He is in the process of renovating the Trinidad location at 453 Commercial Street with the hopes of opening the store at the end of March. Trinidad City Mayor Joseph Reorda originally made the motion to postpone the application, but was quickly changed to a motion of denial by Anthony Mattie and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Carol Bolton. Downs and Lucero confirmed during the public hearing that the Colorado Department of Revenue granted Lucero a license to operate the Trinidad facility. Municipalities that allow for the operation of recreational dispensaries in Colorado under Amendment 64, have their own set of guidelines established for the business license application process, and have the freedom to approve or deny an application. Downs questioned Lucero about a

stipulation from the department of revenue tacked onto the license when Lucero purchased it from a previous owner. The stipulation addresses apparent multiple violations on the license, which allegedly occurred prior to purchasing Colorado Cannabis Associates, LLC, according to Lucero. “The way licenses work is like a liquor license,” Lucero explained during the hearing. “The violations follow the license; they don’t follow the individual.” He further explained that he went through the legal process with the state department of revenue to clear up any violations present. City council, after delving into a comprehensive background report of Lucero as a marijuana business owner and personally, as an individual, indicated there were too many discrepancies and concerns in his business application at this time to approve it. The decision came after nearly an hour’s worth of questioning by council members, specifically by Mattie, a 38-year veteran law enforcement official. “I try to maintain transparency in everything that we do with all the other entrepreneurs that have come before you,” Mattie said to Lucero during the hearing. “And this one, in my mind, doesn’t quite pass the smell test.” Even though Lucero carries state licenses to operate his marijuana business in Pueblo West, according to Mattie, “The department of revenue in Denver doesn’t answer to the voters in Trinidad who are starting to question the large number of marijuana outlets we have now in Trinidad, and my decision to authorize them.”

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