BOULDER — Beginning in January, the five licensed marijuana shops in unincorporated Boulder County will be able to stay open three hours later at night, under a regulatory revision the county commissioners endorsed Thursday.
Liz Graves, the county staffer who handles marijuana licensing, told the commissioners that several such businesses have requested being allowed “greater hours of operation” than the 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily time frame that the county’s current code permits them to be open to customers.
Graves said that a recent change in state regulations allows medical and retail marijuana stores to operate until midnight.
However, the state permits local governments to set their own on-premise hours-of-operation rules.
Under one of a proposed set of Boulder County licensing regulation changes that Graves presented Thursday, medical and retail marijuana stores operating in unincorporated parts of the county outside the boundaries of cities and towns will be able to sell their wares to customers from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
But they’d have to be closed to the public from 10 o’clock each night through 8 the next morning.
Commissioners Deb Gardner, Elise Jones and Cindy Domenico voted Thursday to approve that regulatory revision, along with a series of others recommended by the county staff.
However, the commissioners still have to take formal action to adopt a resolution spelling out those licensing changes, and that’s expected to be on Tuesday’s business meeting agenda.
Boulder County now has five licensed marijuana stores, according to Graves and county marijuana licensing clerk Christopher Mallory.
One is only licensed for retail sales of recreational marijuana products, two are only licensed to sell marijuana to state-registered medical-marijuana patients or such patients’ primary caregivers, and two have dual licenses allowing them to sell both medical and recreational marijuana.
Graves said the draft amendments to the licensing regulations were presented to meetings of marijuana business owners on Oct. 16 and Dec. 4. She said those businesses didn’t object to the changes, but had a few suggestions that were incorporated into the recommended revisions.
Several people at a Thursday public hearing spoke in favor of the longer-hours proposal, including Amanda Ostrowitz, the co-founder of CannaRegs, a Denver-based company that maintains a database of federal, state and local marijuana regulations, and Roland Eibl, a representative of 7 Sacred, a Telluride-based manufacturer edible marijuana products.
Eibl said extending the allowed operating hours for marijuana shops in unincorporated Boulder County would give his company, which has a number of customers in the Denver metropolitan area, more time and flexibility for delivering its edibles to those stores.
Another of the staff-recommended licensing revisions the commissioners tentatively OK’d on Thursday would allow “dual operation” stores — those that sell both medical and retail marijuana — to sell medical marijuana on the premises to customers 18 years old and older, if there’s a complete physical separation of the medical and retail marijuana operations on the licensed business’ premises.
That would change a current restriction that only allows dual-operation stores to sell medical marijuana to customers who are at least 21 years old.
Also appearing at the public hearing was Allen Morgan, a Mendocino, Calif., yoga teacher who said he’s in the process of developing a yoga retreat facility in Boulder County and wondered what guidelines he’d have to follow in order to allow marijuana there.
Assistant County Attorney Michael Koertje said he’s been in discussions with Morgan’s attorney and that it was his understanding that no marijuana would be sold at the yoga retreat center, whose proposed location Morgan didn’t specify, but that the center would provide a space where it could be consumed.
There’s currently nothing in county marijuana licensing regulations addressing that situation, Koertje said, and any local rules or restrictions may depend on the outcome of a “cannabis clubs” bill expected to be introduced in the state Legislature next year.
John Fryar: 303-684-5211, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/jfryartc