Fill up your tank, and buy your supplies for a toke. That’s the concept behind the new hybrid gas station and medical marijuana dispensary opening in Colorado Springs.
Native Roots, a Colorado chain of marijuana dispensaries, just opened a gas station next to one of its Colorado Springs dispensaries.
Colorado law prohibits dispensaries from selling anything other than marijuana and marijuana accessories, but Native Roots gets around the regulation by giving the dispensary and the gas station separate entrances.
Medical patients of Native Roots will receive a free tank of gas, and a discount gas card that will earn them .15 cents off each gallon of gas when they purchase any cannabis-related products from the dispensary.
Even though recreational marijuana is now legal in Colorado, the marijuana sold at this “gas and grass” is only available to medical patients. People without a medical card can still purchase gasoline and enter the convenience store (attached to the gas station) as normal.
So far there are no public plans for Native Roots to open a recreational “gas and grass” location, but the idea is likely to catch on. In Colorado, dispensaries close at 7pm, often making it difficult for people to run there after work errands before getting to the dispensary.
Native Roots new “gas and grass” stations, however, are renewing a long-standing concern by state officials, law enforcement agencies, and critics of legalized cannabis. They worry that the planned station will tacitly endorse and encourage “drugged driving,” or driving under the influence of cannabis’s psychoactive effects.
In response, Colorado’s Department of Transportation has launched a new education campaign on marijuana impaired driving. They cite data from 2013, when there were 103 fatalities involving a drugged driver, and 36 of the 288 drivers tested for drugs had cannabis only in their system.
Colorado law enforcement officers are trained in the detection of impairment due to alcohol and drugs, and many are specially trained Drug Recognition Experts (DRE).