One Vote in 2021 November Election Leads to Historic Opening of Marijuana Dispensary in Wellington

Left to Right: Lindsy Fuller and Brandy Benson, Smokin' Cowboy (Photo by Brandy Benson and Leaha Fetters)

By Blaine Howerton | North Forty News


Voters in Wellington approved the sale of Marijuana in their city in the November 2021 general election.

The Ballot initiative passed by one vote, with 1,678 ‘yes’ votes and 1,677 ‘no’ votes — a total of 3,355.

“This ballot initiative was referred to by a citizen initiative and passed by a single vote, underscoring the significance of active participation in local elections,” said Wellington’s Mayor, Calar Chaussee. 

“This outcome highlights the importance of civic engagement and the power of individual voices in shaping our community’s direction,” Calar said.

Since the election, the community’s direction has definitively moved toward the opening of businesses selling Marijuana.

Smokin’ Cowboy, 7840 6th St in Wellington (Photo by Brandy Benson and Leaha Fetters)

The first business opened on February 9. It was Wellington’s first official opening of a business selling Marijuana within town limits.

“It is incredibly exciting to be the first licensed dispensary in Wellington, said Cory Mitchell, GM of Smokin’ Cowboy. 

“This whole process has felt surreal, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the support of the local community and other nearby businesses,” Cory said.

Smokin’ Cowboy is led and owned by a team of Northern Colorado locals. 

John and Julia Van Hattem have a dairy farm in Loveland, and they come from a long line of dairy farmers. They also own Flower Power Botanicals in Fort Collins.

Left to Right: Brandy Benson, Cory Mitchell, Cody Mayasich, Sam Katz, Julia DeVries (Photo by Brandy Benson and Leaha Fetters)

Cory Mitchell was born and raised in Windsor. He graduated from CSU with his undergrad and master’s degrees.

Cory has been at the helm, working tirelessly to renovate the Smokin’ Cowboy building at 7840 6th St, just next door to the local hotel.

“I hired my entire team a few months ago with the privilege of training them at the other dispensary before opening the doors here in Wellington,” said Cory. “We brought over two senior managers from Flower Power, Caren Norgard and Sam Katz, who have a ton of experience and knowledge from their years in the industry. John, Julia, and myself have been in the legal marijuana industry for over six years now, and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of it,” Cory said.

Cody Mayasich, Smokin’ Cowboy (Photo by Cory Mitchell)

Smokin’ Cowboy is positioning itself to be successful.

“We look forward to working with the local community and growing relationships with the other local businesses,” said Cory. “I’m here every day, and I enjoy meeting everyone that walks in our door,” he said.

It’s still too early to tell how much impact businesses selling Marijuana will have on the Town of Wellington, but the outlook is positive.

“While specific revenue projections are premature, we’re optimistic about the positive impact on our local economy,” said Calar.

“The 2023 Community Survey indicated that improving the local economy is a priority for our residents, and the introduction of a new industry has the potential to contribute positively to this goal,” he said.

The Town is addressing residents’ concerns- if they have them.

“The Town of Wellington takes residents’ concerns seriously and is committed to addressing them effectively,” said Calar. “Our Board of Trustees encourages open dialogue and actively listens to residents’ needs. Whether it’s through regular meetings held on Tuesday nights or direct communication via email, all residents are welcome to voice their concerns and provide feedback. We understand the importance of community engagement in shaping our policies and initiatives, and we are dedicated to fostering transparent and accessible channels for communication,” he said.

A second business selling Marijuana in the Town of Wellington is in the works. The Town has determined the application for Zoning and setbacks to meet local requirements. According to the Mayor, they have yet to determine the timelines for construction.

North Forty News reached out to the business, known as Natural Alternatives, but has not received a response.

Smokin’ Cowboy, 7840 6th St in Wellington (Photo by Brandy Benson and Leaha Fetters)

For more information about Smokin’ Cowboy, visit their website at

For more information about the Town of Wellington, visit


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