Tobacco retailer plans pot-accessory stores

BOULDER – Smoker Friendly International LLC, the Gunbarrel-based company that has run tobacco-oriented stores for 23-years, is tapping the marijuana market by opening a chain of Glass Werx shops that will sell pot-related accessories.

Glass Werx stores already are open in Nederland and Pueblo, and more are planned this year, said Dan Gallagher, chief operating officer of Smoker Friendly. The stores will sell a variety of pipes, papers, vaporizers, bongs and other items aimed at cannabis users, and Gallagher said they will have a more mainstream look than the counterculture-targeted outlets that have been known as “head shops” since the 1960s.

“We wanted to have a fresh, more mature look,” Gallagher said. “We wanted to appeal to a wider range of people that might not feel as comfortable in a head shop.”

Some of the Glass Werx stores will be separate outlets while others – such as the store at 22 Colorado Highway 72 in Nederland, which held its grand opening during the Frozen Dead Guy Days celebration in March – will be combined with existing Smoker Friendly stores.

Nederland also is home to Club Ned, the state’s first private club open to cannabis smokers, which opened on April 20.

To accommodate the Glass Werx operation in Nederland, about 600 square feet were added to the Nederland location, which also houses a Gasamat convenience store and gasoline station. “We had two bays of an old service station there that were sitting empty,” Gallagher said, “and we were looking for a concept to put in that space. The great thing is that it’s our space and we didn’t have to lease somewhere else.”

Gallagher said he has heard no negative reaction from existing Smoker Friendly customers who visit the shop about the addition of the marijuana paraphernalia. “Some of them may be a little bit ambivalent,” he said, “but nothing negative so far.”

The website remains under construction, and so far refers only to the Nederland store. Nederland

Gallagher said the Pueblo location, also co-branded with a Smoker Friendly store, opened this week. The company is looking at three or four other locations for the next Glass Werx stores but has yet to settle on the sites. “We could potentially be looking at Broomfield,” he said, “and maybe Boulder, Longmont, Fort Collins and Greeley in the long term. But I think we’ll first want to target the bigger concentration of people in Denver.”

No decision has been reached about whether the stores eventually also will sell marijuana, Gallagher said.

Smoker Friendly owns and operates about 90 stores in Colorado and three other states, and has licensed 850 retailers in 38 states. Smoker Friendly International also runs Gasamat convenience stores and gasoline stations.

Gallagher’s father, Terrence Gallagher Sr., was inducted Wednesday into the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame.

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