Marijuana company sues Broomfield clerk, 16 others over duplicated applications

Twitter icon
marijuana plant

An applicant hopeful for one of Broomfield’s three lottery-based marijuana licenses filed a lawsuit Monday against the Broomfield city and county clerk and 16 other applicants after Broomfield declined to disqualify the entities which submitted multiple applications.

Centroid Holdings, Inc., which operates as Terrapin Care Station and submitted an application for one of Broomfield’s licenses, filed the lawsuit “to protect the citizens of Broomfield from a handful of entities failing to play by the rules,” Terrapin Communications Director Peter Marcus said.

Representatives for Terrapin on Sept. 14 sent a letter to Broomfield City and County Attorney Nancy Rodgers and City and County Clerk Erika Delaney Lew outlining how “Ineligible Applicants were breaking the law, attempting to undermine the fairness of proceedings, and depriving Plaintiff of a fair opportunity to receive a license,” the suit reads. The company’s lawyers wrote they expect Broomfield “will promptly address the issues … and disqualify the offending entities from the process.

“We intend to take every step necessary to protect our client form the irreparable harm that it would suffer if Broomfield does not act immediately,” the letter continues.

However, among the 26 applications, there are multiple crossovers between company names, applicant surnames, proposed locations and business plans, records show.

The applicants Yuma BRMT LLC, Yuma BRKM LLC, Yuma BRIT LLC and Yuma BRAT LLC each do not have a registered trade name, though the four applications list the same proposed business location of 1480 West First Ave. Three of the four registered agents listed in connection to the Yuma applications share the same last name, records show. The four applications also include the same plans for various aspects of the business and also attached the same documents and answers for seven of the application’s questions, the lawsuit states.

There are five applicants that list the registered trade name as IgadI, a cannabis company headquartered in Tabernash with seven locations across the state. While the five applications have the same registered trade name, they each have varying names of the business applicant listed, such as PCA, Ltd. and JPO, Ltd. The five applications each have the same mailing address and the same primary contact person listed, records show. The lawsuit alleges the five applications propose the same owners, lease and floor plan, and use the same language in their cover letters and responses to plans for the business.

Applicants Herbert Bruce Wetzel, Nathan Wetzel, Mark Busch, Mike Weinberger and Joshua Kenneth Davis all submitted the same answers to at least 10 of the questions and they all provide the same plans for different aspects of the business, the lawsuit states. Additionally, four of the five individuals use the email domain name “unityrd.com,” and four of the five disclose an association with Unity Road in the cover letter.

As part of the application, the applicants each submitted a proposed location for their business in Broomfield. Of the 26 applicants, 13 list 11640 Teller St. and four applicants list 1480 West First Ave. There are two applicants that list 4381 West 120th Ave.; and one application each listing 1995 West Midway Blvd., 1690 Midway Blvd., 300 Alter St., 7110 West 117th Ave. Unit A2, 195 Commerce St., 11625 Reed Court and 4181 West 120th Ave. A map of the proposed locations can be found at bit.ly/proposedmap.

Despite a law firm outlining concerns to the city and county last week, city and county officials told the Enterprise the applications “technically meet the language of the ordinance because they have been submitted by separate entities owned by different individuals.”

On Sept. 20, Broomfield’s Senior City Attorney Courtney Thiemann issued a response to Terrapin’s letter, stating the city is “aware of the concern,” but that they “do not agree that this concern constitutes grounds for the City and County Clerk to change the status of any applications that were accepted by the office as complete, and their status at this stage will not be changed.”

Because of the city’s response, the lawsuit asks that the court “enters an order: Holding that Ms. Lew’s decision to allow the Ineligible Applicants to move forward in the lottery process is arbitrary, capricious, unconstitutional and contrary to law; Entering injunctive relief pursuant to C.R.C.P. 65 such that Ms. Lew is restrained from issuing licenses to applicants who have violated the Broomfield Municipal Code; Vacating Ms. Lew’s decision; Awarding Plaintiff its costs and fees; and Any other relief this Court deems just and proper.”

Broomfield Chief Communications Officer Carolyn Romero said the city hadn’t been served the suit as of Tuesday afternoon and wouldn’t be commenting until they’ve been served and reviewed the suit.

Broomfield City Council, in framing out the marijuana regulations ahead of the moratorium on sales expiring, determined the applicants will ultimately be chosen through a lottery system. City and county ordinance allows for evaluation of each application by a selection committee, and the selection committee will ultimately determine “if the applications meet merit, and those that do will enter the lottery process.”

The lawsuit acknowledges an entity with five applications in the running is more likely to be selected by the random drawing than one sole application.

The building at 11640 Teller Street is seen in Broomfield on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. Thirteen of the 26 Broomfield marijuana applicants are proposing a store at this location. 

The Selection Committee is anticipated to issue a final report of qualified applicants to the City Clerk on Oct. 11, and on Oct. 21 at 4 p.m., a public, random lottery will be held in the City Council Chambers, 1 DesCombes Drive. The opening dates of the first three establishments will depend on the business, the licensing and inspection. The Council ultimately voted to award three licenses at first, with the ability to add two additional license 12 months after the first three are issued.

e-mail icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon Reddit icon
Rate this article: 
Article category: 
Regional Marijuana News: