Hayden’s first cannabis dispensary opens

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Mark Wellstone and Cherie Sanders opened the Anna Dispensary in downtown Hayden. The dispensary becomes Hayden’s first.
John F. Russell / Steamboat Pilot and Today

HAYDEN – It took over a year for owners Mark Wellstone and Cherie Sanders to open the doors to Hayden’s first marijuana dispensary, but now that Anna Dispensary is finally open for business, the owners are excited to move forward.

“It’s surreal,” Sanders said. “We have been working so long and so hard to open it.”

The business opened on October 15, but the two owners plan to celebrate the grand opening from November 12 to 14. The celebration will include promotions that Wellstone, which also owns the Blue Heron Dispensary in Oak Creek, said it hopes to get people to find out what its new 800 square foot retail space is all about.



Working through COVID-19, the two demolished a neglected building at 735 E. Jefferson Ave. and replaced it with a new welcoming and modern location.

The company received approval from the City of Hayden in April 2019 and was licensed by the state in July. After the approval, there were discussions about changing the ordinance to keep dispensaries off main street in Hayden, but Hayden chief executive Mathew Mendisco said those discussions did not apply to Anna.



“Discussions took place afterwards,” Mendisco said. “I think there was an initial question as to what those requirements were, and I think we as staff clarified them pretty quickly. The requirements and the discussions that followed were really framed around the next application that might come up. “

However, Mendisco said those discussions ended without changing the ordinance.

This ordinance, which was approved in 2019, requires dispensaries to be 300 meters from daycares, schools, drug and alcohol treatment centers, public parks, libraries and other recreational spaces. . It also requires that they be 150 feet from transportation routes, like the Yampa Valley Regional Airport and US Highway 40 as it passes through town.

Wellstone believes the downtown location will serve both locals and visitors traveling to the area on vacation. He hopes passengers arriving at the Yampa Valley regional airport will enter Hayden for their cannabis needs.

“We want people to get off the plane and ask their phones where the nearest dispensary is,” Wellstone said. “Then when they see it’s only half a mile away, we hope they’ll turn left. “

In addition to travel, Wellstone understands the importance of local customers.

“I grew up in a small town myself and I’m used to serving locals,” Wellstone said. “It’s kind of nice to be in a place where everyone really enjoys having you in town, and we’re going to be a store that definitely caters to locals.”

The variety of items offered at Anna include pre-rolls (a ready-made joint filled with cannabis), blunts (cannabis in a cigar wrapper) and edibles (cannabis-based edibles).

The store also offers CBD products as well as accessories. The store is still waiting for branded products like t-shirts and hats to arrive, but they expect them to arrive any day.

“We have a bit of everything and want to make sure that anyone who walks through the door can find something they like,” Wellstone said. “Being brand new, of course, we continue to build our inventory. “

Anna works with local businesses like Honest Marijuana, Binske, and First Matter in Oak Creek, as well as Wyldfire, which makes edible gummy candies, based in Steamboat Springs. Customers will also find Wana Brands, Willie’s Reserve and 1906 in the new store, which will also feature natural growers like AJ’s Farm and Hava Gardens.

“We are really proud to offer first class flowers,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate over the past six years with my other store to really get to know a lot of producers in the state, so I have a handful of producers that I think are top notch.”

Sanders believes that while some dispensaries are vertically integrated – that is, when a company produces and sells both its product – Anna’s stand-alone concept allows the store to offer a wide variety of selections.

“Cannabis has always been a part of my life. I grew up in Chicago, moved west, and fell in love with the mountains, ”Sanders said. “I always knew I wanted a retail space.

The Anna dispensary is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.


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