Guest writer, Ann Kasky
Peter Marcus recognized a need in the community, and wanted to be part of the solution. Peter is the Vice President of Communications for Terrapin, a marijuana dispensary shop in Longmont. At first it may seem like an unorthodox partnership between HOPE of Longmont and a marijuana dispensary. Peter, began working with HOPE four years ago because of the cycle of events he saw in his community. Peter elaborates, “I saw systemic failures in the drug laws and I saw the spiral that happens if someone is convicted of drugs.” People could be sentenced to prison, and then have a difficult time finding employment, and this cycle can lead to homelessness.”
Peter spent time networking in the community and seeking non-profits who could benefit from assistance. Marcus, says, Longmont City Council, the mayor and other local officials recommended HOPE.
Since 2018, Peter has witnessed HOPE receive more resources and grow in the ability to help the homeless. The Terrain, company donates $10,000 a year to HOPE. Peter says, I like the fact the I can be part of moving the needle.” It’s the parking lot program, the clothing resources and of course transitional housing.” Marcus is humble and knows it’s not only the Terrain Dispensary company helping. Softy, Marcus says, “It takes a village.”
Chris Woods, the owner of the company began Terrain with $300,000 of inheritance money from his grandmother. The company began very simple and now has other locations besides Colorado. The company employees over 500 employees. Peter emphasizes, “There aren’t any shareholders or board members.” Peter, continues to instill the ethics of having open, transparent conversations with the community about the stigmas associated with a marijuana dispensary. Marcus emphasizes, unlike the neighbor or anyone else selling marijuana a dispensary is much different. Marijuana sold in a dispensary is regulated, from a lab and any side affects must be reported. The purpose of a dispensary is about having trained individuals who teach about health and safety. Furthermore, Terrain ensures the safety of employees and customers by having alarms and multiple cameras in the shop.
Another part of the company’s ethics is employee involvement. Terrain, supports their employee’s volunteerism by providing 2 hours of paid time off per month to volunteer for a non-profit. This is a commitment that remains a priority for the company.
Peter, is proud of his community for so many reasons. One of life’s milestones began for Peter in Longmont. “I began my career in 2004, at The Times-Call as a reporter.” Peter, moved away for a period of time and moved back to Longmont. Marcus reflects, “If it wasn’t for Longmont, I would not have my break into Journalism.”
He truly loves Longmont, and considers the community to be “one of Colorado’s best kept secrets.” His passion overflows by being part of the Economic Development board and on The Longmont Chamber of Commerce board. Peter chuckles as he says, “Longmont has a piece of my heart.” Having his heart in Longmont is clearly what brought him back, and continuing to work with HOPE and his community is his heart.