Western Slope Dispensary Chain Breaks Ground in Denver


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After opening eight dispensaries along Colorado’s Western Slope, mountain ranges and border towns, Rocky Mountain Cannabis has finally found a home in Denver.

The retail marijuana chain’s newest store, a recreational dispensary located at 183 West Alameda Avenue, opened last month, replacing Northern Lights Cannabis Co.

Founded in 2009 as a medical marijuana dispensary in Cañon City, Rocky Mountain Cannabis packed up and moved to Ridgway in 2014, and started multiplying quickly from there. Before opening its newest store in Denver, Rocky Mountain Cannabis expanded into Fraser, Dinosaur, Trinidad, Gunnison, Naturita, Georgetown and Craig.

But for CEO Natalie Ricks, Denver is the place to be.

“Being here helps me see where the industry is going. The further away from Denver you get, that’s sort of where the industry is just at,” she says. “We’d been very successful on the Western Slope and wanted to push into the Front Range to see what the market is like and feel it out. Denver is the epicenter of weed right now, and for our brand, it’s important to be a part of that.”

Ricks moved to Denver from Ouray in September to help the new dispensary transition and to oversee a new distribution center that will send products to Rocky Mountain Cannabis stores across the state. She’s excited to connect more closely with the city’s local marijuana industry and introduce Denver consumers to products and brands from western Colorado as well.

“We’re right down the street from all the people we work with now, so that definitely provides more synergy. We’ll always be a mountain brand, and our flagship store is in the southwest, but being here has provided an opportunity to work closer with people,” she explains. “Our goal is to also bring new brands to Denver from the Western Slope that people maybe haven’t heard of.”

The flower lineup at Rocky Mountain Cannabis is fully supplied by wholesale cultivators, and Ricks says that southern and western Colorado growers like Southern Charm Organics, Antero Sciences, Crested Butte Cannabis and Riverland Remedies will be proudly for sale next to brands that Denver users are more familiar with, like Snaxland and Clearwater Genetics.

According to Ricks, all of the Northern Lights staff was retained by Rocky Mountain Cannabis, but there are plans for a complete remodel of the interior. This was the last of two Northern Lights dispensaries to be sold; the first store, located in Edgewater, was purchased by LOVA in 2019.

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