Ridgway Apothecary owner Jeanne Robertson also owns the business Cups, a tea, coffee and spirits shop located on N. Lena CUPS is not affiliated with the Apothecary, but an entirely different business. She operates Ridgway Apothecary from her home, which is located in an unincorporated part of Ouray County. Robertson said she decided to open the new delivery business because she believes in the use of marijuana as medicine.
“I really believe in its use for medical reasons,” she says. “I have known people that the only way they were able to eat in their last days of cancer was because of marijuana's effects on increasing one’s appetite. It prolonged their life and made it better.”
Robertson said Ridgway Apothecary is not like other dispensaries where patients with state medical marijuana certification go and shop for various strains of marijuana and its various forms (edibles, tinctures, etc.). Rather, Robertson explains that her business provides a delivery service only and that no quantity of marijuana is actually stored on the premises.
“What I am doing is asking the patient what kind of relief they are looking for and then I order the strain that gives them that relief,” she says. “I will go out of the county, pick it up and deliver it to the patient. It won’t be like a grocery store. There is nothing going to be stored here.”
Already, medical marijuana patients who have found it difficult to travel to other counties to receive their medicine have welcomed Robertson’s business.
“I have had one response from a person who already has their card,” she says. “It’s really hard for him to get his medicine because his ailment is debilitating to the point he cannot drive. His statement to me was, ‘Bless you. Now my medicine can be delivered to me.’”
Before Robertson opened the Ridgway Apothecary, she attended an “intense” two-day seminar in Denver taught by a lawyer who is “really on top of this issue,” she explains. Not only did she learn ways to create a legitimate business in Colorado, but learned to do it in a very professional manner. And while Robertson believes there is a great value in providing medical marijuana to patients who need it, she also believes there are a good number of dispensaries that are abusing the process.
“I believe there are people misusing these [laws] and I want to be one of the people who doesn’t,” she says.
Moreover, Robertson emphasizes that her business Cups will have nothing to do with the Ridgway Apothecary and no medical marijuana will be stored or sold on the premises.
“Because families and children come into Cups, there will never be any medicine here,” she says. “I really want to stress that I won’t mix the two businesses.”
There are currently a handful of municipalities in Colorado that have enacted moratoriums on medical marijuana dispensaries – Ridgway and Ouray included – while the state legislature makes decisions on how the businesses will be regulated.
The Ouray Board of County Commissioners has taken a wait-and-see approach to a possible moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries, believing there are already enough county regulatory tools in place for commercial businesses. According to current regulations, the only area in Ouray County where a dispensary could legally open is the Colona Zone, or in a private home as a Home Occupancy. According to Robertson, Ouray County staff has assured her that as a home-based business, Ridgway Apothecary is considered a legitimate business under the county’s Land Use Code.
A physician will be on hand to see potential patients on Wednesday, March 17. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call Robertson at 970/626-3272.