Colorado city opens marijuana-themed mall

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A strip mall in Aurora, Colorado, has undergone a $1 million renovation to reemerge as a marijuana-themed shopping center.

The consolidation helps to circumvent a problem that marijuana businesses often face: finding a sympathetic landlord.

The Aurora Hemp Marketplace, outside Denver, offers a dispensary, a head shop and a cultivation supply store, among others, according to Denver’s ABC affiliate.

The once-struggling shopping mall has gone from 60% occupancy to nearly 95% since the face-lift, and business owners say the traffic to their stores is steady.

“What we decided to do was have a shopping center that was focused primarily on the marijuana industry,” Corey Wagner, an executive vice president with the property management and investment company Western Centers, told broadcaster Denver 7. “We see this as a unique real estate play. It’s the only one like this.”

Last April, a plan was announced for a marijuana mini-mall in southern Colorado.