Colorado’s First Day of Recreational Marijuana Sales: 10 Things To Know

On New Year's Day, Colorado is going to start selling a new leaf

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Denver Post via Getty Images

Nicole Martinez trims marijuana plants as they get ready, at 3D Cannabis Center in Denver, for the first of the year, when the shop is allowed to sale recreational marijuana.

It’s nearly a new year, and Colorado businesses are getting ready to sell a new leaf. Jan. 1 is the first day of legal recreational marijuana sales in the state. Whether you’re in the Rocky Mountains for the occasion or just curious, here are 10 things you should know.

This party is for adults only

Legalization advocates in Colorado argued that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol and that it makes little sense to regulate one while banning the other. The ballot initiative, Amendment 64, states up front that only people 21 years and older can partake.

Tourists are welcome

Both Colorado residents and visitors are allowed to possess up to an ounce of pot, though non-residents can buy only a quarter-ounce at a time and no one is permitted to take it out of the state.

Tourists may have a tougher time finding a place to legally light up

The law states that marijuana cannot be consumed “openly and publicly,” and Denver officials have made it clear that this includes everything from sidewalks to restaurants to parks to music venues to cars. Hotels can allow up to 25% of their rooms to be smoking-friendly, but the safest place to toke is in a private residence.

Marijuana retail shops won’t be open in every Colorado town — but here’s where they will be

Dozens of municipalities have opted not to allow recreational marijuana sales, and many pot shops are still waiting to finish the licensing process. Denver will have the most licensed stores, which the city has helpfully listed on this Google map. The Denver Post is closely monitoring stores throughout the state and will be updating a list here. About two dozen have confirmed that they’ll be in operation for opening day.

Supply may not meet demand and lines may be long

Given the small number of open stores and the international focus on Colorado’s historic social experiment, officials have expressed concerns about “Green Wednesday” turning into a Black Friday. Mason Tvert, an activist who spearheaded the legalization effort in Colorado, believes those concerns are overblown, calling them a “kind of marijuana Y2K bug.” But he also notes that businesses may cap the amounts they sell to serve more customers.

Marijuana can only be bought with cash

Activists like Tvert are trying to reform banking rules that have left pot businesses without the option of accepting credit or debit cards. While changes may be on the horizon, shopping for marijuana can only be done with cold hard cash for now.

Recreational or “retail” marijuana will be more expensive than medical marijuana

Colorado pot shops are still setting prices, but employees say that because of taxes levied by the state, recreational weed will be pricier. One Denver shop, called Dank Colorado, sells medical marijuana for about $30 to $50 per eighth ounce and plans to sell retail pot for about $40 to $60 an eighth. In Denver, only existing medical marijuana shops were allowed to apply for a retail license.

Cops will be out in force, though maybe not for the reason you’d expect

The Denver police chief has promised to have his officers on the ground, but he says they’ll be there to protect shoppers — who will be waiting in lines with pockets full of cash — rather than seek out people who are consuming weed where they’re not supposed to. “I am not going to have a team of officers specifically going out looking for people smoking marijuana,” Police Chief Robert White told the Denver Post. “If we get complaints or run into it, we’re certainly going to investigate it. We have to balance our resources.”

Advocates will be stressing the serious side of marijuana

Tvert and his team at the Marijuana Policy Project are celebrating opening day by arranging for the first customer at one Denver store to be an Iraq war veteran who plans to use marijuana to help combat symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition that doesn’t qualify him for purchasing medical marijuana. For the legalization movement, that optic is an important contrast to Half Baked-esque stereotypes.

Colorado’s reputation may never be the same

Tvert says that while legal weed may be novel now, eventually it will just be the norm and people may not even remember which state was first to legalize. Other Colorado figures have looked on marijuana sales as something that might come to dominate the state’s reputation.  “I don’t want our citizens to feel that Denver’s being overrun by marijuana,” Councilman Charlie Brown told TIME in a recent interview. “We’re the pioneers here, and our image is going to change.”

161 comments
FoxehChandonnet
FoxehChandonnet

I never had a vacation before, and i can think of no better reason than THIS to do it! I am researching a trip to Colorado as we speak. I cant say much for the Tourism, but im sure there are many ppl like me, from other states; looking for a very nice hotel that will allow them to blaze up and go nuts on the snack bar.

And i was looking at those new 420 tours? They take you around in a discrete bus, show you the sights (eg. the pristine beauty of Colorado's landscape, points of interest, grow locations), set you up with a B&B...thats something i am BEYOND interested in! Heck, they already do Bar-Hopping Tours all over America! How is this any different!


CommonManNow
CommonManNow

Until it become legal in other states, Colorado will benefit by increased tourism and revenue.

GarySeymour
GarySeymour

Pro or con, the legalization of recreational cannabis in Colorado will in the end will settle all the speculation over this argument to those who have open minds and are ready to accept the facts and truth.
Prior to the marijuana tax act of 1937 marijuana was widely available and used as it had, since the beginning of civilization and civilization did not break down as critics of marijuana usage would have us believe. 

ShanePike
ShanePike

Mr Gore. You are an example of why Cannabis was taken from us in the first place. The vast majority of "People Of God" are simply a bit slow, the rest are mentally ill.


That's fine & it's your right to be either dumb or mentally unbalanced, or both.

You have NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER, to attempt to impose your Morally Corrupt, Anti-Social and downright crazy, views upon ANYBODY ELSE.

So go pray to your "God" & kiss his/her feet or whatever, just keep your nose out of OUR business.

ShanePike
ShanePike

Get ready for the dimwitted DEA to attempt to raid these shops. I hope Colorado & Washington have the good sense to setup "DEA Squads" to stop the feral, immoral; scum within the DEA in their nefarious endeavours. The DEA filth must be arrested, charged AND PROSECUTED. Then they should be jailed for VERY significant terms.

The FACT is, the DEA are an International Terrorist Organisation whose members are under the impression that they can do whatever the hell they want to.

EdwardW.Gore
EdwardW.Gore

But I do respect everyone who responded to me with respect and not vulgar ignoramity and stupidity... everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect yours too. Have a nice night.

StephenPrice1
StephenPrice1

It is equally illegal to drive under the influence of many legal prescription pain killers, tranquilizers, and other similar drugs and of course alcohol. But alcohol and grass are the only ones ever mentioned. Why is this?


MikeRebate
MikeRebate

The "war" should have ended decades ago...at least for pot.   It is nothing more than job security for  empty headed politicians and members of the dishonorable preofession of law enforcement.   I could have rolled 10 blunts waiting for this comment to appear. 

NickKulibaba
NickKulibaba

This is a fun case study in economics or, in this instance, "freakonomics." Basic free market economics points toward declining prices (a) as more jurisdictions/neighboring states legalize sales, (b) as demand-- the initial rush to purchase owed to the novelty of legal sales-- thins out, (c) as more producers and sellers compete in the marketplace. One unknown factor is going to be the effect of progressive taxation over time (As we see with alcohol, cigarettes and gasoline, government tax hunger knows few bounds). As for any taxed commodity, it is easy to imagine that legalization combined with taxation could actually result in lower street prices, like what one sees in sales of bootlegged cigarettes and alcohol. A second unknown: will large sellers move into the market, absorbing or forcing out boutique sellers? (Hey, why not a Walmart smiley face on a bag of weed?) Market segmentation is certain to play out: the emergence of certified organic producers, others selling "natural" product and mass-produced processed marijuana: "Contains no gluten or trans-fats" "With natural citrus flavor" and, of course, the advertising: "I don't smoke much marijuana, but when I do...well, that's when you get to see just how I became the world's most interesting man."

EdwardW.Gore
EdwardW.Gore

...wow america is coming a long way...no prayer in school, but,  legal abortions, gay marriages, legalizing pot.... we'll see what all of this leads to soon enough...

JayJacobs
JayJacobs

The thing I want to see is how much revenue just this first month of sales will bring in. 


StJohnny
StJohnny

Drug laws are so wrong in the US.

Quit putting people in jail. It's a plant. Federal laws need to be changed too.

RachelWells
RachelWells

Its about time. Remember smoke responsibly - as for the price, it will eventually come down. Chillax -- Also remember to those that choose to light up - consequences will be yours to except -- not preaching, just reminding -- be safe, its about time as I said.. your choice. As it should be.

KevinHunt
KevinHunt

I love the prohibitionist haters whining about living in a free country.  You lost, goons.  Get over it.

Onepatriot
Onepatriot

I'm just wondering what the overall effect on the population may end up being.   Such as,  are we going to have 25% or 50% of adults walking or driving stoned.  If it's easier and cheaper to get now, will people use more?  And   If there is long term damage to certain areas of the brain as reported in studies,  how are those affected going to be able to get or keep a job?  Will we end up with more and more people needing assistance to live?

I don't care what people do with themselves as long as it doesn't affect the rest of society.  Too many times, it does.

Paulpot
Paulpot

Thank you to the good people of Colorado. 

You are proving that there never was a reason for police state, military reprisals against cannabis consumers. If that had not been proven already by 20+ yrs of decriminalization and medical marijuana in the US and around the world.Mr. Obama. Tear down this Wall.

BrianKellyBBizzle
BrianKellyBBizzle

In the prohibitionist's world, anybody who consumes the slightest amount of marijuana responsibly in the privacy of their own homes are stoners and dopers that need to be incarcerated to protect society.


In their world, any marijuana use equates to marijuana abuse, and it is their god given duty to worry about saving us all from the evils of marijuana use.


Who are they to tell us we can't choose marijuana, the safer choice instead of a glass of wine for relaxation, after a long, hard day, in the privacy of our own homes?


People who use marijuana are smart, honest, hard working, educated, and successful people too, who "follow the law" also.(except for their marijuana consumption under it's current prohibition of course) .


Not the stereotypical live at home losers prohibitionists make us out to be. We are doctors, lawyers, professors, movie stars, and politicians too.


Several Presidents of The United States themselves and Justin Trudeau have confessed to their marijuana use , as have a long and extensive list of successful people throughout history at one point or other in their lives.


Although, that doesn't mean a dam thing to people who will make comments like "dopers" and "stoners" about anybody who uses the slightest amount of Marijuana although it is way safer than alcohol.


To these people any use equals abuse, and that is really ignorant and full of hypocrisy. While our society promotes, glorifies, and advertises alcohol consumption like it's an All American pastime.


There is nothing worse about relaxing with a little marijuana after a long hard day, than having a glass a wine.


So come off those high horses of yours. Who are you to dictate to the rest of society that we can't enjoy Marijuana, the safer choice over alcohol, in the privacy of our own homes?


We've worked real hard our whole lives to provide for our loved ones. We don't appreciate prohibitionists trying to impose their will and morals upon us all.


Has a marijuana user ever tried to force you to use it? Probably not. So nobody has the right to force us not to either.


Don't try to impose your morality and "clean living" upon all of us with Draconian Marijuana Laws, and we won't think your such prohibitionist hypocrites.


Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

mls
mls

I think Charlie brown is partaking in the fall of a lot of kids and adults.

mls
mls

sucking smoke in your lungs will hurt you

ghost2612000
ghost2612000

Before you give your opinion on marijuana you should have some substantial evidence to back this up. That is just common debating skills, IT IS taught at school. I feel that those that are against this plant are very misinformed. As an avid marijuana user I will say there are cons to this, but the pros are overwhelming. I find taking a look at both sides of the topic is the best offense and defense. Squabbling is all I hear from AZConservative1, CharlesEdwardBrown, and a few others. You come to the marijuana realm and just let your jaw flap with nonsense. Give me good reason as to why it should remain illegal? Like someone else said; you people just make us smarter because it encourages us to drop some knowledge on that simple minded brain. I realize until I am dead there will always be people like you. However can you keep your ignorance to your own circle? There is so much positive this plant can bring forth. For all you anti-marijuana activists, did you know the National Cancer Institute has done research on this? http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page4   


There is the article you should start reading. You find this drug to be illegal but the government itself knows of its benefits. Did you also know the government made a patent on this? National Cancer Institute is also a government program. So before you push the buttons on your keyboard you should do some research on the topic. But I assume you will just move onto some rather minor point and harp on that for awhile. Like I said there are cons and I and others have accepted that. But even those cons can be argued. For example you can say that a person may become mentally dependent on marijuana, that is possible. But people can also become dependent on tobacco, heroin, crack/cocaine, and a bunch of pills. Marijuana is a schedule 1 drug which is supposed to have no medical benefit. The government says heroin has more medical properties than marijuana. If you can't see the corruption you may want to try some lsd,shrooms, dmt, something, and expand that mind of yours. Maybe it is ego? There is something blocking your inhibition to accept a lie and realize you have been told wrong. 


So please feel free to educate me on why this flower should remain illegal?

MikeRebate
MikeRebate

Homegrown will become the norm.   Very fond memories of my 8 foot "children" in the vacant land next door , and that was 30 years ago.

ChrisC_77
ChrisC_77

@EdwardW.Gore  I would suspect a happier nation.  The fact that we have forbidden people to marry someone they love is wrong.  It wasn't that long ago that it was illegal for a black person to marry a white person.  Less than 50 years ago this was illegal.  Individuals can still pray in school if they want.  No one is removing one's ability to pray in school.  However, it is not constitutional to have a prayer lead by teachers/administrators on tax payer money when the US Constitution states that we shall not establish a religion.  As far as abortions go, unless you are a woman with a baby in your womb, it is no ones business but that person and the father.  Recently, in Ireland where the vast majority of public hospitals are Catholic, a woman was refused an emergency abortion due to major complicating factors and she died!  An innocent person died because of a religious belief that is not based on evidence. 


Alcohol is far more dangerous than weed.  Do you scoff at this as well because you didn't say so.  It won't be long until other states follow suit as this will reduce crimes relation to weed, save tax payer money on non violent crimes involving weed and increased tax revenue from sales much like alcohol.  

GibsonJoe
GibsonJoe

@EdwardW.Gore what exactly does that mean.. how can you be a man of GOD and demonize a NATURAL seed and FRUIT bearing plant.. isnt that in your BIBLE!!

ChrisC_77
ChrisC_77

@JayJacobs 1st month's will bu huge. 1/1/14-12/31/14 will be a good accurate gauge.  My bet is it will be sizable and many other states will follow suit.  And then all the people that condemned it before when it was illegal will be in line to buy because they secretly wanted it all along. 

JtSmith
JtSmith

@JayJacobs I agree with you. I think after a year and other states see what COs revenue is other states may follow suit

MandyMarie
MandyMarie

@KevinHunt who really lost??? did you see the prices. the tv news, it said that it was and avg. of 3.5 grams is $50 plus it's 25% taxes which works out to approx. $63 for 3.5 grams. I think lots of people will continue to by from their everyday buddy down the road lol.

chaiyz
chaiyz

@Onepatriot   Well, I understand some concern but I think you are over-reacting with 25-50% of people walking, driving stoned.  First and most importantly, MJ  is not Alcohol and any comparison to DUI statistics is rediculous.  MJ is not a narcotic, less you consider it a paper narcotic.  Fact, Not a single person has ever OD'd on MJ.  MJ is not a contributor for crime either, unless you consider grazing at a grocery store crime.  I understand that people have concerns, but in the past 100 years we have consistantly proven that MJ is a smarter, safer less addictive substance than Alcohol.  That doesn't mean it's perfect but what it does mean is that you have been lied to by this government for over 80 years and that is where the real problem lies.

I can't wait for 10 years, not because I'm excited about national MJ.  It's because once it is legal nationwide, that makes hemp legal and with 25000 uses that we currently know of, it's the most abundant, most prevelent natural material that we have on this planet.  

What I see in the next 10 years, well it's not good for DOW, Dupont, and the rest of the chemical companies.  Even worse for big pharma.

When people realize years from now that smoking MJ daily will increase their lifespan, it wll no longer be a stigma, it will be a point of revolution.

PhillyCannabis
PhillyCannabis

@Onepatriot  75,000 people die each year from Alcohol. 500,000 die from tobacco. And you are worry about cannabis??? It's nice you are concerned about society but you concerns  are  misdirected. 

KevinHunt
KevinHunt

@Onepatriot  All of your concerns are based on debunked government lies.


"Results indicated no significant effect of cannabis use on global neurocognitive performance or any effect on the eight assessed domains.  Furthermore, there was no evidence for enduring negative effects of cannabis use."




Source: Addiction Volume 106, Issue 12, pages 2195–2203, December 2011


Mark123
Mark123

@mls Most definitely smoke of any form is damaging. But compared to cigarettes, there is far less risk, not to mention, most smokers smoke about a pack a day (20 cigarettes), pot smokers do not typically smoke 20 joints in a single day and even if they do, its not EVERY day. For anybody who DOES smoke that much, they should be using a more lung friendly method such as a vaporizer or making edibles.

mls
mls

@ghost2612000 just because the plant has good promises does not mean you need to suck that smoke in. I don't think the mouse smoked it. I believe it degrades the human, I would much rather see laws that would lift up man kind. you need to stay sharp and focused . if your state wants to get all those drug addicts, pushers so the people can get healthier who knows the doctors may have to move out for lack of patience. this could be a good thing for the wrest of the country.

EdwardW.Gore
EdwardW.Gore

@GibsonJoe @EdwardW.Gore Actually I didn't mention The bible or being a man of God, but you must have sensed that because I am a man of God..And I used to smoke pot and pot is a gateway drug and can and does lead to more drugs...

ChrisC_77
ChrisC_77

@GibsonJoe @EdwardW.Gore  So isn't God killing innocent children and requiring women to sacrifice innocent animals after menstruating. Not a very good reference book IMO. 

DominicSantoro
DominicSantoro

@MandyMarie @KevinHunt I interpreted the article differently. The way I read it, the $10 increase was because of the tax rate of retail weed, not in addition to it. I'd imagine the stores won't be trying to make a higher profit margin on retail sales; they can easily increase their profits by volume, and they are competing with other stores in their area. (And as any business studies will teach us, the most common place to compete is price.) Furthermore, I don't know about Colorado's black market in particular, but I've heard of prices in the range of $40-60 for 3.5 g of high quality pot from all over the country, and I would tend to consider that something of an average price for an eighth-ounce of "dank bud", personally.

LauraSousa
LauraSousa

@KevinHunt @Onepatriot i've driven stoned for 25years now,i've never had an accident or feared that i was gonna have one.I drove drunk one time when i was very young,i'm surprised i made it home in one piece,the whole experience was so scary,i don't EVER drive if i have any liquor.i would rather be on the road with stoners than drunks any day!!

VincentAlvinAguilar
VincentAlvinAguilar

@Mark123@mlsexactly. mls you dont even have to smoke it, you can eat it, vaporize it, use in creams, etc...  These forms don't harm your lungs much (if at all)

Hemp is so much more useful and is one of the reason why cannabis is illegal in the first place.

killer27
killer27

@mls all knowledgeable ppl like my comment if u think this person has no knowledge what so ever on weed, that he believes only what the goverment wants him to believe

GibsonJoe
GibsonJoe

@mls@ghost2612000 your comment is just asinine MJ is actually BENEFICIAL to the "human".. what species are you???????

killer27
killer27

@EdwardW.Gore@GibsonJoe actually it only does, if ur weak minded, or as i like to call being simple minded, therefore u cant blame pot for something that it doesn't do. You are the reason that it leads to harder drugs not weed itself, and i thought u said u smoked pot. not being mean or anything but i think u need to do more research on this topic before actually answering it, iv been doing it for many many years yet, i havent even touched any other drug (acid,speed,crack,crystal,coke,mushrooms,etc). So like i said gore, do more research.

jeremy.jm.joubert
jeremy.jm.joubert

@EdwardW.Gore @GibsonJoe  I'm sorry but alcohol is much more of a gateway drug than marijuana is. He inferred that because you moaned that prayers in schools were not mandatory anymore not because he sensed your glowing presence. The shackles of religion are slowly breaking off humanity's wrists and we are starting to be more free. We are not being governed by a book that has been written thousands of years ago anymore. In my opinion religion has really held back progress, it hurts to think about the hundreds of brilliant minds that have been suppressed by religion and the church hundreds of years ago because they didn't want people to disprove what the church had been telling them. To me the bible seems like a fairy tale that has been taken too literally, i really do like some of the morals that it teaches but just like old fairytales it does get too grim and filled with hatred at some parts.


I'm totally fine with people practicing a religion just as long as they don't try pushing their values and beliefs onto others and don't mix in with anything that has to do with government. And i would like to ask you what do you think about the fact that churches are not taxed, the money that would be generated from that would be immense and could really help people in need not by praying that the less fortunate get better but by actually being able to give them food and shelter. I don't see god serving food in the soup kitchen lines and he sure didn't fund it either.

Heyimjustsaying
Heyimjustsaying

@GibsonJoe @ChrisC_77 @EdwardW.Gore  If you're going to use "HIS book.." then maybe you should do a little more research before speaking. By the way you're emphasizing that it's his bible, I take it that you don't believe in it ,so why reference to something you don't believe in? and wrongly reference it, at that? Food for thought.

GibsonJoe
GibsonJoe

@DominicSantoro you are correct east coast 60 bucks an eight all day. and like you said with time and competition prices will fluctuate 

JtSmith
JtSmith

@DominicSantoro I agree with you. over on the east coast that is about the range cost for high quality pot

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