While Denver and select cities in the state have been selling pot and marijuana edibles since the first of the year, Aurora joins the great experiment in ending marijuana prohibition today. The city has been developing guidelines for retail shops and grow houses for more than year, finally creating a system that permits 24 pot shops spread across the city’s six city council wards.
First to open for business Monday was Euflora at 6260 Gun Club Road. It’s the first store to sell recreational marijuana to the public in Aurora and the only licensed store in Ward VI.
Euflora co-owner Jamie Perino, who also owns a store on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver, said she lucked out with the former Bank of the West location.
“The building really was ready to go. We had to do no build out whatsoever,” she said.
For that prime location, of which there are few in southeast Aurora, Perino said she spent well over $1 million and purchased the bank, a deal she couldn’t negate even if she didn’t receive a license.
One of the first customers to purchase from her store Monday morning was a man who said he drove all the way from Kansas City to check it out. Aurora has long been thought of as a potential cash cow for retail marijuana. It’s the first city selling legal weed for drivers coming in from the east. “We have a huge advantage coming into this ward,” Perino said.
She had hoped to open her new store by the time sales were allowed on Oct. 1. But she said the delay resulted from waiting for a new filtration system to be installed and a few requests city staff had asked her implement. “They wanted carbon filters to mitigate the smell of marijuana,” she said.
Perino describes Euflora as “the Apple store of cannabis.” The store offers a unique experience, with customers receiving a digital device upon entering that can be used to scan the barcodes on products they want to purchase in the store. Customers pay for their scanned products at a counter in the back.
Next to each strain that sits in a glass jar on long tables is a tablet that customers can swipe through to learn more about the product. “Customers are even able to do reviews of the products,” said Brittany Sansburn, a store manage who was walking the floor to greet customers and explain the technology. “They can learn about the medical effects, and the recreational effects. They can also open the jars and smell them.”
Lassana Toure, 21, lives in the area and said he used to go to Denver for his purchases. “It’s about time. It’s convenient. I’m happy about that,” he said. For his first Aurora purchase he decided not to opt for anything too ambitious.
“I bought a pre-rolled (joint) with hash and kief. Just to see what they have,” he said.