The small town of Parachute, Colorado will be home to Colorado's first recreational marijuana store to feature a drive-through window. The drive-through would be called Tumbleweed Express, and redefine what it means to be a recreational brick-and-mortar storefront in Colorado.
The location would be located at a former car wash across the street from Tumbleweed's primary location. Tumbleweed is owned by Green Cross Colorado LLC, and has recently received approval from the Parachute Board of Trustees to open the drive-through, butstill requires approval from the Marijuana Enforcement Division.
According to rules laid out by the Marijuana Enforcement Division, even a passenger in the back seat of any car must be at least 21 years of age to purchase marijuana. A means of security and surveillance is also be required at the point of sale, which would be the drive-through window in this case. The shop is also responsible for preventing marijuana from becoming visible outside of the store.
Converting a car wash into a shop instead of a fast food restaurant enables the owners to meet security requirements that wouldn't otherwise work.
"As far as I can tell, we are not aware of this business model ever coming up before," Robert Goulding, spokesman for the state Marijuana Enforcement Division, told the Post-Independent. “It will have to follow all the rules and regulations that apply to every dispensary.”
Parachute, a town that once relied on natural gas has been hit hard economically, but now other businesses are benefitting from tourism driven by marijuana sales. The town repealed a ban on marijuana establishments in the summer of 2015, and while that caused some controversy, it ultimately brought the town's economy back to life. Parachute Mayor Roy McClung has credited recreational marijuana with saving the struggling town's economy.
Surprisingly, surrounding businesses also support the idea of allowing recreational marijuana businesses, as they attract business and foot traffic to the area. Stuart McArthur, Parachute’s Town Manager says that nearly 30 percent of the town's sales tax receipts in 2016 are from recreational marijuana.
“The really good news is that other businesses are benefiting from it,” McArthur explained. “We think the drive-through is a very creative and innovative idea.”
The shop is expected to open in March 2017.