Developer Clusters Marijuana Retail Stores in ‘Mini-Mall’

While it’s common to find marijuana dispensaries and rec shops located close together in neighborhoods that meet zoning regulations for the businesses, would you want your storefront to be right next to a competitor?

A group of developers have plans to create a marijuana mini-mall in a tourist destination in Colorado, acquiring a building in downtown Trinidad with the aim of filling it with five cannabis retail stores, according to KRDO news.

The project already has its permits and is waiting for final approval from the city council.

Trinidad has favorable zoning and land use rules for marijuana businesses, and is also a major tourist destination, according to Chris Elkins, one of the developers on the project. Those favorable regulations include rules which allow dispensaries to locate right next to each other.

Marijuana businesses have already leased four of the five spaces. Elkins said he does not have concerns about excessive competition undermining the success of the co-located competitors, indicating his market research shows that the town’s tourist nature brings sufficient customers to the area.

Local residents seem to agree, acknowledging that the marijuana industry has been beneficial for the town’s economy.

While the developers’ stated intentions are to help fill an excess of vacant commercial space in the downtown area with hopes of creating a ripple effect on tax revenues and job creation, Elkins admits the “shock” value is one of the appeals. “This one isn’t something that’s been done before,” he said.

The developers’ original plan was to co-locate up to 17 stores, but the city will only allow five, according to KRDO. It’s not clear what the group will do with the other spaces in the building. Elkins said doors could be open as soon as April of this year.