Green Room

In this April 2017 file photo, Telluride Green Room employees Craig Kennedy, Joe D’Alessandro and Laura Cerrezin show off swag to promote the store’s 20-percent-off-everything sale. Green Room is opening a shop in Naturita this month. (Planet file photo)

The Telluride Green Room is expanding its marijuana business and opening a sister store in Naturita. Owner Greg Viditz-Ward said he started The Green Room in 2012 and never really planned to come to the West End. Still, he said, the opportunity presented itself and the community there seems to supports his industry. He’s excited for what’s next.  

When he first opened The Green Room in 2012, he said it was for medical marijuana. Then when Amendment 64 passed, he also included recreational marijuana sales in his shop.

“It seems a lot longer than that,” he said. “It’s been such a long road.”

At the beginning of this year, he also established a marijuana grow operation in Norwood. Currently, he’s spending much of his time in Naturita setting up his new shop.

He said the West End communities have a need for a marijuana store. He added that while the Town of Norwood has stated it will not support a store on Wright’s Mesa the West End communities have been supportive.

Viditz-Ward said he attended several town meetings to “feel out” West End officials.

“I talked to everybody, went to meetings, talked to people and got the vibe,” he said. “They were very receptive to it and helpful. Everything has been great. I never thought of expanding, but this came up and I decided I didn’t want to pass it up.”

Viditz-Ward said he’s been visiting the Nucla-Naturita area for nearly 25 years. He’s a hiker, mountain biker and self-described “river rat.” He said he loves the landscape of the West End’s high desert and feels he will enjoy working there, too.

At 340 W. Main Street, just past the Visitor’s Center in Naturita, he’s working on getting his 1,000-square-foot shop ready. He said the building he has there is even larger, but he won’t utilize the entire space he has available.  

“It’s a great space, tons of room, tons of parking,” he said.

Ward said the plan is to open in Naturita by the end of April; he’ll only have recreational marijuana available.

He said locals are already stopping by and welcoming him to the area. Additionally, Viditz-Ward said his plan is to create jobs — something West End community leaders are emphasizing to revitalize the economy there.

“I will be employing West Enders,” he said. “As soon as the office is set up, we will accept applications. I’ve already talked to five or six people who are inquiring.”

Viditz-Ward said he was aware that an additional marijuana shop in Naturita is currently going through the permitting process. He said the second shop has ties to Ridgway, Dinosaur and Trinidad. He said competition is healthy for business, though, and he approves of the other business, which is working to go into the space that has previously been the 141 Saloon.

(West End town officials have said they’ll only permit two marijuana businesses total.)

At this point, Viditz-Ward said his plan is to have his new shop open seven days a week, though he admitted being new to the West End means he may realize he needs to make some adjustments, or close the doors for a few days each week, if necessary.

He said he’s becoming accustomed to working in all three communities now: Telluride, Norwood and the West End.

“And now we are here to serve Norwood, Redvale, Nucla and Naturita,” he said. “And I’m hoping that Utah people will come and stay and visit at the store, though we cannot take product across state lines.”