Wheat Ridge head shop owners plead 'not guilty' to operating illegal marijuana club, withdraw plea

Defendants will apply for social club license

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. - The owners of a Wheat Ridge head shop who were cited for operating an illegal marijuana club, pleaded not guilty in municipal court Monday, and then minutes later withdrew their pleas and asked that their arraignments be continued.

Bryant Bonet and Shelton Howard, owners of Three Kings Dab Supply at 12390 West  44th Avenue, received a Cease and Desist letter from the City of Wheat Ridge ordering them to stop all unlicensed activity: sales, use and consumption of marijuana and marijuana products, tattoo or body art services.

The letter states that Three Kings Dab Supply was found to:

  • Openly and widely advertise on-site consumption of marijuana and hashish on Craigslist.
  • Advertise a hashish smoking event scheduled for July 10th on Facebook.
  • Have posted pictures on Instagram of on-site consumption while advertising a “fastest gram challenge” with product supplied by Three Kings.
  • Have posted a YouTube video of a “fasted gram competition” winner from an event at Three Kings on June 27th.
  • Be widely viewed on the internet as a place where marijuana and hashish are consumed.

Three Kings does not have a Wheat Ridge retail or medical marijuana license.

Wheat Ridge municipal code states that “No person shall operate a retail marijuana establishment within the city without a valid and appropriate license to operate such establishment issued by the state licensing authority in accordance with the provisions of the Colorado Retail Marijuana Code.”

In addition, the code states that “No marijuana clubs may operate or obtain a business license to operate within the city.”

Three Kings’ Defense Attorney Matt Buck told 7NEWS that his clients “vehemently deny” operating an illegal marijuana club.

“It’s a social club,” Buck said, “where people happen to partake in the use of marijuana, which is totally legal.”

Buck said that after discussing the “not guilty” plea with the City Attorney, they talked about “ways we could fix the problem, which is to obtain a legal business license to all Three Kings to operate a ‘social club’ in the same location that they’re operating the head shop.”

When asked if the city of Wheat Ridge had such a license, Buck replied, “Well, they don’t have a marijuana club license, but we’re not trying to obtain that.  But they do have a social club license in the same way that the Elks Club would obtain a license.  We’re going to operate something just akin to an Elks Club, which is a little more marijuana friendly.”

When reminded that city code doesn’t allow on-site consumption, Buck said, “This will be a business that’s operating at the same location, which is separate from the head shop which is being operated in the front.  So it will be as if there are two businesses operating at one address.”

Buck said that if Three Kings can obtain a social license, he expects the owners will pay a small fine and move on with their lives.

Police began investigating the head shop after receiving complaints from neighbors.

One neighbor told 7NEWS that the parking lot gets packed with people who show up to smoke in the back yard behind the head shop.

That neighbor had photographed copies of the postings from Craigslist and Facebook.

He said the owners are “operating Three Kings as a lounge and that’s illegal.”

The Municipal Judge said he wants to see the owners in 30 days to determine if they’ve made headway getting the case resolved with the city.

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