Katie Tayloe, manager of the Canary's Song medical marijuana dispensary in Nederland, takes a phone call while weighing pot for a customer's order. The Canary's Song is the first shop in Boulder County to earn a recreational marijuana license. (David R. Jennings, The Camera)

Boulder Co. opens door to recreational marijuana sales

NEDERLAND — In what may be music to the ears of Boulder County cannabis fans, the Nederland Board of Trustees on Tuesday night approved the business license for Canary’s Song, a medical marijuana dispensary that will soon also become the county’s first recreational pot shop.

Canary’s Song opened at 1 W. First St. — in the heart of Nederland — as a dispensary in March and has been in good standing with the town, according to a memo prepared for Tuesday’s well-attended licensing hearing.

Ryan Anderson, the shop’s owner, notified state regulators in October that the shop intended to convert to a recreational store, and the state granted Canary’s Song a conditional license Jan. 1 hinging on whether the town trustees would approve the business.

On Tuesday night, the trustees held a 15-minute hearing during which no one spoke against issuing the license. They voted 6-0 in favor of approving Canary’s Song’s paperwork. Trustee Randy Lee was not present at the meeting.

“I’m super proud of you. I’m super proud of this town, and I want to congratulate you on being the first Boulder County applicant to be licensed,” Trustee Peter Fiori told Anderson. “I respect your courage in this. Even though there shouldn’t be any liability in this, we acknowledge there is.”

Several of the trustees, including Mayor Joe Gierlach, noted the town was well prepared to process recreational marijuana business licenses like that submitted by Canary’s Song. The trustees in August approved the town’s rules for recreational marijuana business licensing, well ahead of other county municipalities such as Boulder.

“I feel like we laid out a plan, did our due diligence, and we are following that plan,” Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Mueller said.

Anderson said Nederland has a cannabis-friendly history, and he is looking forward to becoming a beneficial part of that going forward.

“I think it’s a very good thing for Ned to actually benefit from the tourism as people come to Colorado” to buy marijuana, he said.

An agenda item prepared by Town Clerk Michele Martin noted that licensing officials found no issues with the Canary’s Song application and that the business passed inspection by the local police and fire department. A life safety building inspection was performed at the business last week, with the only issue arising from that being that lever hardware is required for the business’s door at street level, according to the agenda item.

Anderson paid the town $575 for his retail marijuana business license, which is effective until March 31, 2015.

He said the shop will operate as a dual medical marijuana dispensary and recreational store, with a wall dividing the separate sides of the business.

While Tuesday’s vote clears Canary’s Song to open this week, Anderson said the shop likely will not be open until about Feb. 1. He said there are still some licensing loose ends that must be resolved with the state and its tracking system.

“There are still some hoops to jump through, but that’s this business,” he said.

This story was first published on DenverPost.com