Legal Weed Sales Will Be Spotty in Colorado
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Legal Weed Sales Will Be Spotty in Colorado
Posted by CN Staff on December 14, 2013 at 07:41:29 PT
By Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Denver -- Legal marijuana sales in Colorado are set to start on Jan. 1, or so the law says. Knowing when the recreational pot shops will actually open, however, is anyone's guess.The state's 160 hopeful pot shops are so mired in red tape and confusion that no one knows yet when or if they'll be allowed to open. Not a single shop will clear state and local licensing requirements until about Dec. 27.
"There's a perception that come Jan. 1, Colorado's going to be like Wal-Mart on Black Friday, people pouring through the doors. Not going to happen," said Mike Elliott, spokesman for the state's Medical Marijuana Industry Group.Even as so-called ganjapreneurs are expanding operations, pouring concrete and planning tentative grand openings, they're still navigating a maze of regulations. Many of the applicants are still waiting on inspections, local zoning hearings and background checks before finding out whether they've been approved to open their doors to adults over 21."There might be a lot of disappointed people on New Year's Day," Elliott said.Some of the largest potential new retail pot towns  Aspen, Aurora and Boulder  have already announced they won't have permitting red tape cleared by Jan. 1. Marijuana tourism companies that already lead bring-your-own pot tours in Colorado are putting off new trips, unsure where they'd bring tourists looking to buy legal pot, not just smoke it.Even in towns hoping to have at least a shop or two open, such as Breckenridge and Telluride, there will be no 12:01 a.m. pot sales. Like liquor stores, marijuana shops have mandated opening hours, not before 8 a.m. anywhere in Colorado.The regulatory delays are testing the patience of many in the industry.Ryan Cook, general manager of one of the state's largest marijuana businesses, a chain of stores called The Clinic, is spending his days not prepping a grand opening plan but going to Denver's zoning, planning and fire departments to check on permits.Cook recently counted out more than $1,400 in cash for some permits from the Denver Fire Department. He was then told he needs another permit for a new machine he acquired to produce marijuana extracts, a $50,000 contraption obtained specifically to comply with new safety guidance from the Fire Department itself."You guys have put me through the ringer," Cook joked after picking up the permits, just part of some $300,000 in various permit and license fees The Clinic's six shops will pay to various state and local agencies this year."It would be sad for us to see only one or two shops open in the entire state on Jan. 1, but I can see that happening," Cook said.Julie Postlethwait, spokeswoman for the state Marijuana Enforcement Division, said recreational pot dispensaries can't open until local governments sign off on potential stores. Cities and counties have in some cases changed fire codes for pot operations, added new signage or zoning requirements or instituted new fees they say they'll need to regulate the industry.Colorado's marijuana law also allows local governments to opt out of retail pot sales entirely. Even some towns with medical marijuana dispensaries may not be allowing recreational sales, such as Colorado Springs.Colorado has more than 500 medical marijuana dispensaries, all of which require medical clearance before shoppers can purchase pot. Only 160 of those stores have applied to sell recreational pot, a change that would require them to either ban customers under 21 or keep separate entrances and inventories for patients under 21 and adult recreational users.The small number of recreational dispensaries, and the last-minute uncertainty on whether they'll be allowed to open, has some in the industry warning of pot shortages and spiraling prices for recreational shoppers. Several retailers declined to share opening-day pricing, but they warned prices could be much higher than what medical patients are paying.Cook said supply may be so tight that his four potential Denver shops may cap individual purchases below the state-mandated limits of an ounce a day for residents, or a quarter-ounce a day for visitors."We're doing everything we can to get ready. But supply's going to be a problem," Cook said.In Steamboat Springs, Rocky Mountain Remedies owner Kevin Fisher said local permitting delays mean his shop won't be ready for recreational pot sales until Jan. 8. He said he's hoping the small delay will be quickly forgotten."I don't think anyone is too upset about waiting to do everything right," Fisher said. "So we open Jan. 8, 2014. That's a lot sooner than Jan 8, 2035, when I thought this might happen."Source: Associated Press (Wire) Author: Kristen Wyatt, Associated PressPublished:  December 12, 2013Copyright: 2013 The Associated PressCannabisNews  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #5 posted by boballen131313 on December 17, 2013 at 04:00:37 PT:
Legalization Means to Me...
Legalization means I don't have to look over my shoulder, feel uneasy around strangers, able to freely share a harmless flower with my friends, gain employment without a degrading urine test, talk about cannabis without having to fear being overheard, ability to access healthy high quality cannabis without frustration, Obama wakes out of his political coma and frees all of the cannabis prisoners, Federal rethinks it insane drug schedule. Legalization means I can grow and possess as much cannabis as my heart desires without restriction. Legalization looks a lot like the time before the dumbasses created prohibition. Legalization means a return to Constitutional re-establishment and the return of States rights! It means we can do away with private prisons and build roads and bridges! ETC. ETC.
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Comment #4 posted by schmeff on December 15, 2013 at 12:43:39 PT
As long as the parasites can 'legally' wring extortion money from us plebs, they'll be happy. The end of prohibition means hordes of new 'regulations', which even well-meaning folks are bound to run afoul of, sooner or later. A new class of criminals will replace the criminals of prohibition, and justice will proceed as usual, robbing the poor to feed the rich.
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Comment #3 posted by TroutMask on December 15, 2013 at 07:31:45 PT:
So much for my NYE plans...
I had planned to be at a pot shop at 12:01 a.m. I didn't know they aren't allowed to open until 8 a.m...There is plenty of weed here in Colorado. The problem is legal pot shops can only sell marijuana that has been under close monitor from seed and grown specifically for retail sale (you can't dip into your medical weed to sell for non-medical purposes). Retailers could bring in some 'contraband' marijuana to make up for the shortage, but that would be illegal and would put their retail licenses in serious jeopardy. At least one licensed retailer increased his prices over a month ago to help build up supply...and that might be an indication of what is going to happen to prices in the short term. up up up!
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Comment #2 posted by boballen131313 on December 14, 2013 at 15:25:50 PT:
Reruns of Weed Country
In Australia we have been following the National Geo series "Weed Country", but so far nothing about legalization has been presented to Aussie audiences. Go Stanleys!!Its obvious, without Cannabis prohibition, there is going to be a lot of unemployed Narcotics officers! That's REAL fruit most folks would like to see flourish across the world!I don't think Colorado is going to magically run out of weed. Prohibition will be revealed as the enabler of criminals on both sides of the law. And these clowns working in law enforcement can move to Idaho where their job security is rock solid.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on December 14, 2013 at 07:44:50 PT
I don't think there will be a shortage. Cannabis will flow out of the woodworks to celebrate on New Years Eve! It might take time to get the legal shops operating but nothing will stop the people from having a wonderful time.
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