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Medical marijuana dispensary goes for historic look in Old Colorado City

JP Wellness co-owner Dustin Divitto stands behind a stagewagon-styled sales display inside the Old Colorado City medical marijuana dispensary.
Westside Pioneer photo
When Dustin Divitto opened the JP Wellness medical marijuana store in a prominent Old Colorado City location last year, across from Bancroft Park, he knew there were some people with concerns.
       So he set out to make the business fit in. Other dispensaries around town typically have darkened front windows and a buzzer that must be pushed to gain entry. But for Divitto, a 1989 Coronado High School graduate, “it was important to keep the flavor of Old Colorado City. I wanted to change the image so it was not so scary, so an 85-year-old lady would feel she could come in.”
       So it is that passersby at 2419 W. Colorado Ave. will see - through unobstructed, floor-to-ceiling glass windows - a large, well-lit front lobby with a display of bicycles, wrought-iron fencing and a vintage Coke machine.
       The front door is unlocked during operating hours, and people are free to walk in and take a closer look. At the back is
The lobby of the JP Wellness dispensary, open to the public during working hours, displays objects from different eras.
Westside Pioneer photo
the legally required wall and locked door separating the lobby from the drug sales area.
       Divitto chuckled that many people on the sidewalk don't realize at first what the site actually offers. “This is what a dispensary would have looked like in 1890,” he said.
       The sales area continues the historic theme, including two antique gas pumps and a pair of vintage wagon wheels. The latter objects are set in front of a display - built to look like a stagecoach - with different types of marijuana.
       Such visual effects represent the final touches in a full and costly renovation of the 3,000-square-foot interior, according to Divitto, who owns the site. The space was gutted, utilities updated and new interior walls erected.
       Started five years ago, JP Wellness owns three Colorado Springs dispensaries in all, plus
Marijuana products on display frame a decorative antique gas pump inside the JP Wellness sales area.
Westside Pioneer file photo
two grow facilities and a kitchen (all at separate locations). Divitto, previously the manager of a local roofing concern, has been a partner in the business for the past two years.
       Medical marijuana dispensaries are allowed anywhere in the city that has commercial zoning. Customers need an official “red card” from a doctor.
       While agreeing that some red-card holders simply enjoy getting high, Divitto stressed that most of the people who come to JP Wellness are “real patients, and medical marijuana gives them relief.”
       As for recreational marijuana (currently disallowed in Colorado Springs), he predicted it would be legal nationwide within 15 years. “The cat's out of the bag,” he said.
       The business is open daily. For more information, call 424-7352.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 3/14/16; Business: (New)

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