Colorado town getting a drive-through marijuana shop

File - In this Dec. 5, 2013 file photo, marijuana matures at the Medicine Man dispensary and grow operation in northeast Denver. Colorado voters still support the state law that legalized recreational marijuana, but most believe it is hurting the image of the state, according to a new poll released Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. The Quinnipiac University Poll found that 51 percent of voters overall believe the measure is bad for the state's reputation, while 38 percent see it as a net positive. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, file)

PARACHUTE, Colo. (AP) — The western Colorado town of Parachute is getting a drive-through marijuana shop, believed to be the first in the state.

The Parachute Board of Trustees approved a business license for Tumbleweed Express last week, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported Saturday (http://bit.ly/2m1PZCA).

“As far as I can tell, we are not aware of this business model ever coming up before,” said Robert Goulding, spokesman for the state Marijuana Enforcement Division.

The business is expected to open in March in a former car wash.

Tumbleweed Express also had to get approval from the Marijuana Enforcement Division, which said the store cannot allow anyone younger than 21 on the premises, even in the back seat of a car.

The business must also have security and surveillance, and marijuana may not be visible from outside the dispensary.

The car wash building will allow the goods to be screened from outside view.

“We think the drive-through is a very creative and innovative idea,” Parachute Town Manager Stuart McArthur said.

Marijuana accounted for nearly 30 percent of the community’s 2016 sales tax revenue of just over $1 million, McArthur said. “The really good news is that other businesses are benefiting from it,” he said.

Travelers stopping to buy marijuana in Parachute are more likely to stop at restaurants and other shops, he said, helping an economy that was hit hard by a downturn in natural gas production.

Parachute Mayor Roy McClung said the town’s economy would have been in serious trouble without legalized recreational marijuana.

Statewide, marijuana sales brought in close to $200 million in taxes and fees last year, the Colorado Department of Revenue said.

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