Will Colorado Have Enough Pot Stores to Meet Demand?

Sales of recreational marijuana begin in three weeks, and lawmakers fear that demand will dwarf supply

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Rick Wilking / Reuters

Growth technician Mike Lottman moves through the marijuana plants in a medical marijuana center in Denver, April 2, 2012.

Call it Black Wednesday. Recreational marijuana goes on sale legally in Colorado on Jan. 1, and Denver officials are worried that the city’s retail shops won’t be anywhere close to meeting demand.

At a city-council meeting Monday, lawmakers in Colorado’s largest city raised questions about licensing delays and the prospect of people queuing up for hours in what have been historically low temperatures.

“If we have 10 stores open … we could have people camping out overnight with cash in their pocket,” said councilman Charlie Brown. “How is the industry, how is the police department going to work together?”

Though more than 100 stores are waiting to have applications approved by the city and state, a process that involves multiple inspections and a public hearing, a small fraction of that number are likely to be open by 8 a.m., Jan. 1, when legal sales for recreational marijuana begin. Employees from the city’s department of excise and licenses estimated that Denver will have around 12 legal retail outlets in operation.

City officials are worried about the ability of those stores to handle the expected crowds, which they said will be supplemented by marijuana tourists arriving on chartered buses. Security is also a concern, as marijuana can only be purchased with cash.

A representative from the medical-marijuana industry said he knows Denver is going to be under enormous scrutiny on New Year’s Day. “It’s very true that the whole world is watching,” said Michael Elliott, who noted that shoppers may be confused when they’re turned away from the vast majority of medical-marijuana dispensaries that aren’t licensed to sell recreational pot. “It’s very intense right now.”

After voters approved a measure to legalize marijuana in November 2012, Colorado spent the next six months developing regulations for consumption — dealing with advertising restrictions, childproof packaging, THC-limits and rules for driving while high. “Clearly we are charting new territory. Other states haven’t been through this process,” Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said in May. “Recreational marijuana is really a completely new entity.”

Seven months later, lawmakers are still deep in the weeds. “It’s pure cloth,” Denver councilman Albus Brooks tells TIME. “We’re starting from scratch.”

Brooks introduced a measure on Monday that would decriminalize possession for adults ages 18 to 20, which was approved by a special committee focused on marijuana issues. The committee also killed a bill that would have made it illegal to openly smoke pot on private property within 1,000 ft. of any school, with opponents comparing smoking a joint to drinking a beer on a front porch.

Among the measures the council approved Monday was one its president called a “seminal” piece of marijuana legislation outlining procedural nuts and bolts like making it illegal to consume weed on the city’s tourist-heavy 16th Street Mall and banning “pot giveaways” in public parks. Then they moved on to the next item before them: revamping zoning codes to deal with growing marijuana. After being approved by the council, bills must still be signed by the mayor.

“In 22 days, whether you like it or not, the image of our city will change,” Brown said. “And if we need to make adjustments we will. This is not the end. This is, frankly, the beginning.”

234 comments
Nomdeplume
Nomdeplume

I have a few questions maybe someone else can answer.  I'm understanding that, come Jan 1st, it's legal to buy it in Washington State but the stores won't be operational before the summer.  Does that mean it's legal for someone in Washington State to order it/buy it from someone in Colorado, since sales will begin Jan 1st in Colorado?  And if so, how or where can they place an order? 

Paulpot
Paulpot

In all the time that it was illegal it belonged to the people and we regulated it.

And in that time no-one died from using marijuana.

Just completely legalize it so any one can grow it and take it to the farmers market and sell it just like home grown tomatoes.

tgm404
tgm404

It will probably be rocky the first year or so, until things all settle down. 

tailhunter10
tailhunter10

Growth technician" Sounds more like  someone who works on moles and warts.


Too bad this law didnt kick-in today,  as a Boltz fan we  need the broncos to be high, or at least the fans so they will be too cozy to want to make noise :)

JustinPearman
JustinPearman

They needed to use more biochar to meet demand

JohnDoeson1
JohnDoeson1

I "highly" (pun!) doubt that there will be lines of pot users camping in the streets overnight on New Year's Eve just so they can buy a few grams of marijuana.  Most of us will be partying with our friends, smoking our own supply; since medical legalization, the black market price has dropped in half (used to be $50 for 1/8 an oz, now is $25 for 1/8 of premium grass, and it's easy to find a grower through your friends.)


The nice thing about the stores is the variety of choice: I've been to several dispensaries that sell an amazing range of edibles, hash, oils, and an awesome range of different strains labeled with names and indica/sativa ratios.  We have manufacturers now, too: Keef Cola, Marqaha (like weed "milk"), Dr. J's Star Bars, Cheeba Chews, Dappa chocolates...OUR HIPPIES HAVE JOBS NOW - THEY WORK IN THESE PLACES!

The local black market will continue to flourish, because private growers will sell their product without applying the 25% state tax CO is asking for (25% is pretty ridiculous, but, se la vie.)  I think the tax is meant more to pull money into CO from the out-of-state visitors we'll have an influx of.


I'm not sure about the IQ loss theory, but I don't seem to have a problem:  I'm a computer programmer, electronics/robotics enthusiast, musician, gardener (vegetable/fruit, not pot), and business owner.  I'm quite sure alcohol is much more brutal to your body (I've had my share of hangovers, too.)


As for your kids, I believe they should be taught by YOU: pot can make people comfortable with being lazy, which could easily turn into bad grades and a lack of scholastic participation (I've known freshmen in college to drop out for the same reason.)  You should teach them to leave pot alone as you would teach them to stay away from any abusive substance, but you have to trust them to make their own decisions, and respect their choices.

KevinHunt
KevinHunt

New research from Harvard Medical School, in a comparison between families with a history of schizophrenia and those without, finds little support for marijuana use as a cause of schizophrenia.

“The results of the current study suggest that having an increased familial morbid risk for schizophrenia may be the underlying basis for schizophrenia in cannabis users and not cannabis use by itself,” note the researchers.

jheuristic
jheuristic

Shouldn't they call it Green Wednesday?

tgm404
tgm404

The politicians didn't want A64 to pass, so now they are dragging their feet and making it as difficult as possible, attempting to thwart the will of the voters (aka sedition). 

The good people in Colorado who passed A6 need to throw all those people standing in the way out of office (regardless of political affiliation) in the next election.

Dweirdo
Dweirdo

Just think about the side effects.  Drugs, alcohol, and pharmaceuticals have deadly side effects.  Marijuana's side effects?  What are the deadly side effects of marijuana. I forget

jack.vandijk
jack.vandijk

To all:  Uruguay legalized it. The country became world’s first to legalize marijuana, with the senate approving a government-backed bill that regulates the plant’s growth, distribution, and consumption. The legislation is designed to undercut drug traffickers.

Note from me:  Contrary to popular opinion, drugs were never legalized in the Netherlands, they were allowed and lately the allowance is pulled back, after 40 years, the Dutch government has seen that there are problems with drug use.

KobeWild
KobeWild

Why would our "enemies" be laughing themselves sick?  Our currently "enemies  list" does not even like alcohol.

We are talking about legal pot not  legal meth.  

So far as taxes go... 25% tax is nothing.  I'm all for it.. the school and the state get's money and I get pot 

without running the risk of being shot to death by our great protectors the police.


Today's pot is of such high quality you no longer have to smoke 2 joints just to get a buzz.

I can take one or two puff's and that's more than enough.   

Pot is a safe and relaxing high... If used in moderation...  unlike other drugs, "alcohol" you can't OD on it.

So I say thank you colorado for being the first to step-up and knock one out of the park for your citizens.




rplatt73
rplatt73

Ah yes, quite a distinction . . . Colorado, the pot head capitol of the world.  Our enemies must be laughing themselves sick.

zelskid1
zelskid1

Florida needs pot store in Disney World.

Humm
Humm

That's what regulators are for.  No pot should be flowing into or out of Colorado.  The tax rate will be huge. 

This is a great thing for Colorado.  If the dealers want to abuse it, every pot user in CO will be all for max punishments.  Throw the bros in the clink . . . they're taking a great thing and making it bad.

On the otherhand, if every state legalized pot, that would take the money out of it.  Want to get the bad guys out of the pot business?  Legalize it everywhere. Colorado woke up and smelled the coffee . . .if the vast majority of you citizens are smoking pot . . .they've toked their vote . . . accommodate and regulate.

jhngalt9
jhngalt9

The illegal operators will continue on. Law enforcement will focus on other priorities now that pot is legal so anyone will be able to sell it tax free.

Humm
Humm

Fun!  It will be so interesting to see how this plays out. Initially, it will be a celebration, then, the celebration will pan out to the mundane.  There is a possibility of mob activity, but that's wat regulators are for . . . Ultimately, it will be like alcohol . . .mundane.

stranger1
stranger1

It is extremely dangerous. Freedom is enormous power. Freedom can become a chaos and disorder and kill people. Not everyone can handle this power.  


Legalization drugs create the society of slaves and idiots that can be easy control by the government. It is not a freedom. It is suicide.


When you sign drug legalization most for young people you are signing death agreement. Addiction will make you a weak person that make you satisfied with miserable existence. Your mind will be a sleep and you will become low intelligence person. You will not be able to work hard and use your potential. 


The life will control you and you will become a slave. 


I never took a drug and I don't need it. I am 50 years old. We need strong, intelligence and independent mind, wise leaders. You are not a leader and control your life if you can't control your desires and instincts. 


It will become no difference between you and animal. Miserable existence will be your journey. 

You always have a choice. You can make your choice today.

When you are young you are stupid and making mistakes. Being like everyone else make you look cool. You will go down the hill with everyone else and become the slave of your life.


 It is extremely difficult for young people to be different and make different choice that their friends. 


You have to make your own choice, take your own path, and may be go alone but become who you are and live, and follow  your path, open your talent and full fill your destine. 


When you die it will be to late to change everything you done and made different choices. Everyday you are writing your book of life and the words are permanent in the pages of this book. What ever you done can't be undone and fixed. It is permanent. 


I don't want you to go crazy and crying in you death bad. The madness and miserable existence will stay with your forever. It will happened if you will made the wrong choice today.

mango13_10
mango13_10

@Nomdeplume   It will not be legal. Colorado has been given several rules to follow by the federal chaps, and one of them is that no recreational Colorado marijuana may leave the state.

Nomdeplume
Nomdeplume

@PaulpotThat makes the most sense to me.  That would be decriminalization, wouldn't it?  I've often heard people say that they'd rather have decriminalization instead of legalization (though either is better than what it's been).  Seems to me people should be able to go to the bulk section of a grocery and get some there along with their rosemary, thyme, curry powder, granola, etc.

shapiro.len
shapiro.len

@JohnDoeson1

gee,aren't we all reassured by your comments.  in fact,we are so educated now, we can all just apply for medical, law,engineering,flight school, or anything else. screwballs like you should move to Mars as soon as possible. don't come back.

KevinHunt
KevinHunt

@JohnDoeson1


This 'IQ Drop' assertion is based on a reference to a research study from New Zealand published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science in August 2012 that grossly mischaracterizes its results, and did not in fact establish this causal link.


In this research, there was no breakdown of frequency or amount of cannabis used to see if there was any "dose dependency" to the effects—an important item in association studies. The study’s cannabis exposure data was strictly based on self-report, even though other data, such as the subjects’ reported cognitive performances, were corroborated by statements from close contacts. There was only consideration of alcohol dependence, not binge drinking patterns, which have also been shown to be neurotoxic, and if occurring, would confound results. Schizophrenia was considered as a confounding factor, but other mental illnesses such as major depression, anxiety, PTSD or traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions, all of which can reduce performance on neurocognitive tests, were not factored in.

In other words, the "pot makes you stupider" proof was not there.

KevinHunt
KevinHunt

@tgm404 Note that even tea party right wingers like Tom Tancredo know that marijuana prohibition is a losing strategy.  


Hopefully, Ken Buck, (who was once for Amendment 20, but now opposed to A64)  doesn't take Udall's Senate seat in 2014.  I hope that Ken Buck gets forced out in the primary election. 

tgm404
tgm404

@Dweirdo nobody has ever died from marijuana, but it has saved many lives. OTOH, someone dies from alcohol or  tobacco every few minutes. 


I have observed in the comments section, though, that objection to marijuana does appear to lead to a severe lowering of IQ. Once a person has decided against it, facts can not penetrate their delusions.

tgm404
tgm404

@jack.vandijk the weedpass system was just a response to neighboring EU countries who complained about NL weed crossing the borders. It was not in response to "problems with drug use" as you suggest, but rather a response to neighboring countries who objected to their own citizens bringing weed back from NL. In fact, their system has been highly successfull. They have a MUCH lower teen use of pot than here in the USA. The CDC has found the same thing in the USA where it's been decriminalized/legalized, though anti-pot activists LIE and claim things are getting worse (but offer only their own "word" as evidence.) As always, delusional people think because they believe something, that makes it true.

KevinHunt
KevinHunt

@jack.vandijk Note that the right-wingers in the Dutch government that advocated the 'weedpass' system were voted out.


"A study compared the cannabis (marijuana and hashish) habits of users in Amsterdam and San Francisco to test the premise that punishment for cannabis use deters use and thereby benefits public health.


“We compared representative samples of experienced marijuana users to see whether the lawful availability of marijuana did, in fact, lead to the problems critics of the Dutch system have claimed,” said Reinarman. “We found no evidence that it does. In fact, we found consistently strong similarities in patterns of marijuana use, despite vastly different national drug policies.”

Rachel421
Rachel421

@rplatt73 I live in Colorado, so I'm unsure which of our enemies is laughing.  (Kansas?  California?  Seriously, who are Colorado's enemies?)  


 I also missed the memo which states that I must use marijuana now that it's legal.  Lots of OTC drugs are readily available, but most of them I've never tried nor have any desire to do so.  I can see no reason why marijuana would be any different.


On a final note, I was just in the ER due to problems with a prescription that was used exactly as directed.  Some chronic health problems I've had have been made worse due to using that prescription, always as directed.  I cannot assume that marijuana would have caused any worse problems than those I've had with one particular commonly-used prescription.  


Just sayin'.





tgm404
tgm404

@rplatt73 they are laughing more at the idiot antipot activists in the comments section.


KevinHunt
KevinHunt

@rplatt73 Our enemies are the Mexican Cartels and they aren't 'laughing'.  They know that a legal, regulated system will put them out of business.


" Mexican drug cartels fighting each other for smuggling routes face increasing competition in the U.S. where legalization in some states has increased the amount of marijuana available."


Source: ANGELA KOCHERGA / KVUE Newskhou dot com

MikeParent
MikeParent

Who are "Our enemies"?  TIA  What harm has occurred since legalization?

CoreyMCallahan
CoreyMCallahan

So what you are saying is even though there is no where to buy it in some places, "dealers" aka "everyones neighbor growing better cannabis than any store, cheaper" is the problem then you need to wake up and dump the coffee down the drain you've had too much caffeine. You want the truth. Home growers will always grow better cannabis than marlboro.

jhngalt9
jhngalt9

The huge tax rate and regulations will keep people going to the illegal operators. There won't be "max punishments" because law enforcement isn't going to bother to ferret out which sellers are legal or illegal. This happened in areas where prostitution was made legal. Law enforcement looked the other way and human trafficking and sex slavery actually increased.

tgm404
tgm404

@jhngalt9 Don't be stupid. The feds will be watching like a hawk, to bust whenever/wherever they can, to show that A64 isn't working. All those people selling on CraigsList are going to be in for a big legal headache come January.

NoahInfinitySign
NoahInfinitySign


@stranger1 
"
I don't want you to go crazy and crying in you death bad."

Awww.  Thanks, pal.  That's nice of you to say.  I don't want you to go crazy and crying in you death bad either.


Lol.

EricaCarlsonRay
EricaCarlsonRay

@stranger1 before declaring yourself intelligent you might want to take a basic grammar and spelling class.  I can overlook simple typos, but this is barely coherent.


tgm404
tgm404

@stranger1 It sounds like you are already a slave, to right wing propaganda. You admit that you have never even tried pot, so you are obviously in no position to make the claims about it that you have. You speak only from ignorance. You don't have a clue.


The best thing about pot is that it helps you open your mind. A little "mental reset", if you will. You obviously NEED that. 

KevinHunt
KevinHunt

@stranger1 What makes you think the founding fathers would have approved of a ban on hemp?  It's obvious that you want this country to be nothing more than a police state. We are the world's #1 incarcerator.  One million in jail for drugs.


"I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery "  -Thomas Jefferson

sambentham
sambentham

These are the same arguments made against alcohol in the 1920s.

BrionEduardo
BrionEduardo

@stranger1: This cannabis consumer kindly and respectfully asks that you learn to compose a coherent post using something better than fourth-grade-level grammar and spelling. I really would like to understand what it is that you are trying to communicate, but all I see in your comment above are the ramblings of a drunk dude.

bobgnote
bobgnote

@shapiro.len @JohnDoeson1 sure dude just like John Carter . . .


If some moon unit told me to move to Mars, why?  All kinds of deflecting M.R.s are here, on Earth.  Why should anyone go to Mars, who isn't from 'Ver-geen-ya!"


Maybe you should move, to Israel, where the deflecting fascists have ignored Hitler's mischling roots and how his policies didn't work out because he was trying to scrap Reich III, a lot harder than most unobservant tools are doing this . . .


Don't turn off your TV.  Lynn Collins' Deja Thoris and Woola the digital Martian doggie are about to make a load of cross-DNA hatchlings, at the science academy, and hey, they'll all look, like Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

bobgnote
bobgnote

@KevinHunt @JohnDoeson1 FDR made us stupider, by signing the Hemp Stamp Tax Act, for Mellon's coal, his bro-in-law Harry Anslinger's egregious pig orgy, Hearst's timber, and Standard's oil, just as a hemp corticator was introduced, so as to make Henry Ford really nutty.


After all, Henry and Rudolph Diesel both wanted hemp alcohol, in their engines, and Henry was putting hemp plastic, in Fords, since the Model T.


FDR went and baited the IJN, to attack, suppressed all intel and alerts, at Pearl, and then he signed G.O.9066, ripping off the Japanese Americans.


When drunk Frank's HSTA was ruled unconstitutional, Nixon founded the DEA, to make hemp a Schedule I controlled substance, while crack, smack, crank, and Zimmy's scrips are Schedule II CS.


Of course, if we ever do get a needed, new constitution, we can use PCs and hemp paper, to print up modern legal definitions, including a due process article, with clauses providing for ethical and high moral enforcement, with removal of crusades, against personal morality, for profiteering, by former government and corporate cartels, during lapse of prosecution, for RICO violations.


Why did STARSHIP TROOPERS make Juan 'Johnny' Rico its main character, eh?  Lots of reasons . . .


Maybe hemp haters are totally stupid, from guzzling rubbing alcohol.

hilfabina
hilfabina

@tgm404 @rplatt73 "OMG LOOK AT THIS COMMENTS SECTION!  I can't believe these idiots still buy the whole marijuana-is-evil thing!! HA!" -DEA, Cartels

tgm404
tgm404

@jhngalt9 Exactly, and that is the politicians' plan. They campaigned long and hard against A64, and are now doing everything they can to make sure it fails. They WANT to force much of the sales into the black market, so they can claim it is a failed system. 


These people must be REMOVED FROM OFFICE in the next election!

NoahInfinitySign
NoahInfinitySign

@sambentham  Can we really call these arguments? Lol. :-)  

"It will become no difference between you and animal. Miserable existence will be your journey. "

JohnnieDorman
JohnnieDorman

The old man is about the same age I am. Only he never managed to escape the billion dollar propaganda machine. The same old ignorance, the same old prohibitionist stupidity. The idiots in these states that won't legalize will definitely be the states where illegal drug Marijuana trafficking will flourish. Buy it cheap in Colorado and Washington, sell it high in the dummy states.

KevinHunt
KevinHunt

@BrionEduardo I agree that "stranger" is either drunk or brain damaged.  


"When you sign drug legalization most for young people you are signing death agreement"...Ha Ha


No one ever died from ingesting marijuana.


KevinHunt
KevinHunt

I detect an extreme frustration with prohibitionist shapiro len.  It must be demoralizing for them when they realize that no one believes their lies anymore.

KevinHunt
KevinHunt

@bobgnote  I agree....and the stupidity continues: "


While most of the THC in cannabis plants is concentrated in the marijuana, all parts of the plant, including hemp, can contain THC, a Schedule I controlled substance.


- “Drug Czar” Gil Kerlikowske, 2012



I have yet to read a documented case of anyone getting high from hemp foods.


Some medical research suggests that excessive levels of omega-6 fatty acids, relative to omega-3 fatty acids, may increase the probability of a number of diseases and depression. Modern Western diets typically have ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 in excess of 10 to 1, some as high as 30 to 1, partly due to corn oil which has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 49:1.


Hemp seeds contain a favorable ratio of between two and three parts omega-6 fatty acids to one part omega-3 fatty acids. This is close to the four-to-one ratio recommended by the World Health Organization.

tgm404
tgm404

@JohnnieDorman I'm older than him, but I didn't retire my brain and join a right wing propaganda cult.

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