COLORADO: Cue the “Rocky Mountain High” jokes.
A medical marijuana dispensary in Central City, Colo.—a small gambling town nestled in the mountains near Denver—just became the first business in the United States licensed to sell marijuana to patrons without a note from their doctors.
Erin Phillips, the co-founder of medical marijuana chain Strainwise, announced this week that the Colorado Department of Revenue’s marijuana enforcement division accepted the company’s application for a recreational marijuana license on Nov. 15. She told CNBC on Friday that industry insiders estimate business can triple with the new license.
“We’ve done all kind of internal projections,” Phillips said on “Squawk on the Street.” “It’s hard to say since nothing like this has ever happened before.”
The store, called The Annie’s, will begin to sell recreational marijuana on Jan 1, and should expect plenty of out-of-state traffic. In-state customers can buy up to an ounce of marijuana each day while Annie’s will limit out-of-state patrons to a quarter-of-an-ounce each day.
Colorado and Washington became the first states in the U.S. to allow recreational marijuana use last year, and Colorado voters recently approved a 25 percent tax on recreational marijuana.
Phillips told CNBC that she believes recreational marijuana can bring in half-a-billion dollars in taxable income to the state, despite a lower number of medical marijuana dispensaries applying for recreational licenses than first expected.