Garden City pot shops expect smokin’ good time Thursday in celebration of 4/20
April 19, 2017
» Cheba Hut Toasted Subs, 1645 8th Ave., will have live music in its parking lot from 3-10 p.m., with $4.20 specials and free Frisbees. After 10 p.m., the party moves inside until midnight.
» LivWell, 2647 8th Ave., will have a DJ and a food truck in its parking lot from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
» Nature’s Herbs and Wellness, 540 27th St., has several events planned from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., with a live remote from Jammin’ 101.5 FM radio.
Today is shaping up to be a crazy day for some area businesses.
It's 4/20 — the stoner's holiday — and to those businesses enveloped in the marijuana culture, it's going to be the best sales day of the year.
For four marijuana dispensaries in Garden City, just south of Greeley, managers will come to work with lines of people waiting for specials to start the daylong celebration.
But in Greeley, where retail marijuana sales aren't permitted, there's really only one store cashing in on cannabis celebration: Cheba Hut Toasted Subs, the sandwich shop with sandwiches named after marijuana strains, whose owner fought city hall in 2009 to operate here with a liquor license.
In April 2009, Scott Jennings brought his marijuana-themed shop to Greeley long before recreational marijuana gained its legal footing — a good three years early. A Greeley municipal judge denied his liquor license for the shop because of the pot-themed goods. Jennings had to appeal to the Weld District Court, and he ultimately won in September 2009 because a judge said he had a First Amendment right to market his store any way he pleased.
Though his win didn't come on April 20, for Jennings, today is about freedom.
"It's stoner independence day," Jennings said. "This is more of exercising our rights and just have fun, be silly and don't take life too serious."
So don't be surprised if you see bands and people filling the Cheba Hut lot at 8th Avenue and 17th Street much of the night.
Area dispensaries — all in Garden City — will be open for the crowds today, as well, offering their own specials, music and giveaways.
"We're expecting it to be a very busy day, one of the busiest days of year," said Phil Tapply, a manager at Smokey's 420, 2515 7th Ave.
While 4/20 traditionally has been a day in which pot-smokers defy the laws that ban their drug of choice, it has morphed into a growing celebration since Colorado voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2012. Stores began selling pot in 2014.
John Rotherham, owner of Natures Herbs and Wellness, 522 27th St., sees pot use growing and the 4/20 celebration continuing.
"It's been going on for so many years. It's just growing and getting bigger and bigger," Rotherham said. "Now that it's legal, it opened the doors to everybody. I'm seeing people every day who come in and literally ask us, 'How do we use your product?' People come in and say it's legal, and I'm going to try it.' I never see it going away. The stigma is going away."
"It's going to be a big day for us … a zoo," Rotherhamm said.
It will end up being a good day for Garden City, as well, with four dispensaries, and a day full of open doors and door-buster specials. Garden City has benefited from extra sales tax revenues because of marijuana sales, though town administrator Cheryl Campbell said the one day — a Thursday — will likely supplant the typically busy Fridays at the shops.
While the stores, and Cheba Hut, will have celebrations on their lots, it's best if people don't inhale when they are in the driver's seat.
Greeley police will be on the lookout for stoned drivers.
"While it is legal to smoke or use marijuana, we need to stress that operating a motor vehicle after partaking or using marijuana or marijuana products, one may still be in violation of the law," said Greeley Police Sgt. Joe Tymkowych.