Breaking News Bar
posted: 1/5/2014 6:43 AM

Colorado's fledgling pot shops face new normal

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Containers for retail marijuana await filling Tuesday at 3-D Cannabis Center in Denver. Colorado is making final preparations for marijuana sales to begin Jan. 1, a day some are calling "Green Wednesday." The 3-D Cannabis Center will be open as a recreational retail outlet on New Year's Day.

      Containers for retail marijuana await filling Tuesday at 3-D Cannabis Center in Denver. Colorado is making final preparations for marijuana sales to begin Jan. 1, a day some are calling "Green Wednesday." The 3-D Cannabis Center will be open as a recreational retail outlet on New Year's Day.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

DENVER -- The second day of the nation's first fully legal marijuana industry was just a bit less frenzied than the first. Rather than hundred-deep lines outside the limited number of licensed retail shops, the queues held several dozen.

Still, there were so many pot shoppers that one retailer asked customers to come back Friday. Here's a look at the new normal in Colorado:

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

1. How much for an eighth?

Colorado has no statewide pricing structure, and by midafternoon on the first day, one dispensary was charging $70 for one-eighth of an ounce of high-quality pot. Medical marijuana patients, who worried about being priced out of the market, just a day earlier paid as little as $25 for the same amount.

2. Law enforcers watching

Authorities are watching whether consumers take marijuana to other states where the drug remains illegal. It's too soon to tell if that's happened yet but some law enforcement officials say it's inevitable. Neighboring Kansas, for example, plans to continue its use of bogus road signs such as "Drug Check Ahead" and "Drug Dogs in Use" along highways to make motorists think twice about bring drugs on the state's highways.

3. How much money for state?

Retail marijuana is being heavily taxed, with a 10 percent tax per sale and a 15 percent excise tax based on the average market rate of the drug. The state won't have the first round of receipts until late February but it seems clear demand is strong. A trade group Thursday said three of its retail members reported between 600 and 800 customers during the first day. Colorado has projected $67 million in annual marijuana tax revenue.

4. Not just pot

The same 2012 ballot measure that legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado also permitted industrial hemp farming. The Colorado Department of Agriculture on Thursday released procedures for producers to register with the state and pay fees. Hemp is marijuana's nonintoxicating cousin. It can be used in foods, cosmetics and textiles. It remains illegal to grow under federal law.

5. Where next?

Washington state voters also legalized recreational marijuana in 2012 and that state's market is due to open in a few months. Activists in Oregon and Alaska say they have enough signatures to put legalization measures on the ballot this year. Ballot measures may well crop up in other states from California to Massachusetts over the next few election cycles.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here