At one time in the recent weeks, Lyons had five medical marijuana dispensaries open for business, and another two with licenses, but not up and running.
Evan Rude was the first to get a business license, for his dispensary Headquarters Emporium. He originally intended to open behind Ma’s Pizza, but that fell through, and he later eventually opened at the site of the old Vet Clinic on Main Street.
The first dispensary to open its doors for business (early summer of 2009) was Compassionate Care, owned and operated by David Roush and Jay Poppoff, at the site behind Ma’s. Then in quick succession came Ed Bruder, with the Colorado Wellness Center, Dan Ballard with Tumbleweed General Store/Lyons Finest Confidential Care. Both gentlemen originally intended to operate as home businesses, but later opted for storefront locations - Bruder in the Lyons Village Central shopping plaza, and Ballard at the former site of the Cherry Cider Store at the base of Stone Canyon. Also applying for a license at that time was Mary Aronson, owner of the St. Vrain Pharmacy. During this time (August of 2009 during the transition of former Town Administrator Howard Armstrong) Read Spear, owner of Lyons Indoor Gardening, also applied for and was granted a dispensary license, the paperwork was processed, but the Board of Trustees was not notified until earlier this summer. Spear’s operation is called The Bud Depot.
The final player is Sean Welch, who obtained his business license earlier this year after the temporary moratorium expired, and before the new one was enacted.
Welch opened Lucky Farms earlier this summer, just before the August 1 deadline in the building shared by Lyons Excavation, at the top of 5th Avenue.
When the state passed House Bill 10-1284 and Senate Bill 109, earlier this summer, it changed the way dispensaries will do business in the future. Among other things, dispensaries must now be called centers, they will be required to grow 70 percent of their own product, they will be regulated by a newly formed state agency, owners will have to meet residency requirements, and they will have to undergo background checks, similar to the ones required for a liquor license.
Going forward, only businesses considered to be “in good standing” as of August 1, 2010 by their local municipalities, i.e. open, operating out of a storefront, and collecting/paying sales taxes, will be allowed to continue operation after July 31, 2011.
Since the passage of those Bills, there have been changes on the medical marijuana front here in Lyons. Aronson, at St. Vrain Pharmacy says she no longer wishes to operate a center. Roush says he is not interested in “jumping through the State’s hoops” and has closed Compassionate Care. Bruder has closed Colorado Wellness Center, but retains his license. Rude has taken on a business partner at Headquarters Emporium, and Spear, who was going to take over the storefront behind Ma’s Pizzeria, has instead decided to locate The Bud Depot next to his Lyons Indoor Gardening store in the Lyons Village Central shopping plaza. Ballard and Welch continue to do business in their original spaces. So, the final tally (as best as can be determined) is that Lyons’ now has four medical marijuana “centers” which are in good standing: Lucky Farms, Headquarters Emporium, Lyons Finest Confidential Care (all open) and The Bud Depot (under construction).