Employee Kris Knox weighs out bags of medical marijuana earlier this month at the Terrapin Care Station on Folsom Street in Boulder. (Jeremy Papasso, Daily Camera)

Five Boulder dispensaries on track to get recreational marijuana licenses

Boulder medical marijuana dispensary Terrapin Care Station could open to the general public as early as Feb. 18 if the state licensing process goes smoothly, the shop’s owner said Thursday.

The dispensary at the corner of Folsom Street and Canyon Boulevard, the site of a former coffee shop, could become the first recreational marijuana store in the city of Boulder.

Karing Kind, a dispensary in unincorporated Boulder County a mile north of the city, also is on track to get its state license that week.

The two businesses appear likely to be the first in the Boulder area, though the Canary’s Song in Nederland could be the first in the county, with other Boulder dispensaries hoping to have their state licenses sometime in March.

Terrapin Care Station is one of five Boulder medical marijuana dispensaries to either have received a local license allowing them to sell to the broader recreational market or to be on track to do so pending city building inspections.

None of those businesses can open to public until they receive state licenses. That process takes 45 to 90 days, though state officials have said they are trying to process licenses as quickly as possible.

Chris Woods, the owner of Terrapin Care Station, said he submitted his state application Jan. 3, and he hopes to have his state license Feb. 18 or soon thereafter.

He praised the city as “very professional” and said he was able to convert his grow operation and his Folsom Street location in a 40-minute meeting with Boulder Licensing Clerk Mishawn Cook.

Boulder officials had promised that the conversion process would be relatively painless for dispensaries that have no ownership changes.

“They have been true to their word,” Woods said.

Woods also owns a dispensary on Manhattan Circle in south Boulder that will continue to serve the medical market.

Woods said he’s doing everything he can to prepare for what he expects to be large crowds when he opens to the general public, from hiring extra security and asking more staff to be at work that day to ramping up his inventory and having enough child-proof packaging on hand.

“We are preparing for that,” he said. “We want to ensure that everything goes smoothly.”

The other businesses are Boulder Botanics, 1750 30th St., Boulder Rx, 1146 Pearl St., Fresh Baked, 2539 Pearl St., and The Green Room, 2750 Glenwood Drive.

Representatives of Boulder Rx and Fresh Baked said they are aiming for mid-March openings due to the state licensing process. Representatives of The Green Room and Boulder Botanics could not be reached Thursday.

Boulder Botanics is pursuing a “co-location” in which the business would serve both medical and recreational customers, Cook said. In Boulder, that means the business has to construct complete physical separations between the two sides, a process that requires the company to pull building permits. The city won’t issue a local license until the new construction has been inspected.

Boulder Rx is doing a straight conversion, but that business is also doing a renovation that requires building permits, so the license has not been issued yet, Cook said.

The other three businesses already have received their city license.

However, the debut of retail marijuana in Boulder has been delayed because Boulder businesses could not apply for their state licenses until the city started accepting applications in January. By law, the state cannot issue a license any sooner than 45 days from receiving the application.

The most likely candidate for first retail marijuana outlet in Boulder County is the Canary’s Song in Nederland.

That business has both state and local approval, but is doing a renovation so that it can serve both recreational and medical customers. The manager previously said the Canary’s Song will reopen in early February. No one from the dispensary could be reached Thursday afternoon.

Alisha Reis, Nederland town administrator, said the owners of Canary’s Song have yet to pick up their retail license, which was approved by the Board of Trustees on Jan. 21.

Karing Kind also is on track to open in February. Owner Dylan Donaldson said he also expects his state license Feb. 18 or soon after.

“We are stocking up and doing everything we can to prepare,” Donaldson said. “What I don’t now is what the demand will be like.”

Camera Staff Writer Joe Rubino contributed to this report.

This story was first published on DailyCamera.com