On July 8, the Montezuma County commissioners denied the renewal of a liquor license for Mary Jane at Stoner, in order to cause a hearing with applicant Frank McDonald.
Montezuma County sheriff Dennis Spruell recommended a hearing on the liquor license renewal for the closed cafe on Highway 145, citing legal issues with McDonald and his past run-ins with sheriff deputies.
In a June 14 letter, Spruell stated that he has “several areas of concern” and that the “sheriff’s office is well acquainted with Mr. McDonald.”
McDonald was not present at the liquor license renewal procedure handled by the county clerk staff.
In an interview late last year, after Amendment 64 decriminalized recreational marijuana use in Colorado, McDonald told a Durango Herald reporter that he envisioned a place where marijuana users could gather and smoke and philosophize and eat munchies and enjoy the wilderness setting.
McDonald said he saw Mary Jane’s at Stoner as a family-friendly, cannibis-friendly, environment-friendly model for the new era.
The commissioners at first considered tabling the application to allow time for a background check at the request of the sheriff. But they decided to deny the license renewal instead because that triggers a hearing with the applicant.
“We need to give him a chance to state his case,” commissioner Steve Chappell said.
The commissioners wanted a background check be done as well.
In the letter, Sheriff Spruell described activities at the location as “bizarre,” citing an incident where deputies were called out because of an elk carcass in a trunk.
Ownership uncertainty of Mary Jane at Stoner was also an issue, Spruell said. The current owner of the property, Mark Rogers, was in the process of selling the former restaurant, but it is now under foreclosure, according to Spruell.
“Activities at the location are of concern,” he said.