COLORADO: Nearly a week into Colorado’s unprecedented foray into marijuana legalization, it’s all going smoothly.
Possessing and using recreational marijuana has actually been legal for a full year in both Washington and Colorado. But Jan. 1 marked the first time that the drug could be sold commercially to nonmedical customers. At least a couple dozen stores are already operating around the state, legally selling marijuana for recreational use to adults.
The biggest concerns of critics – whether the new policy will increase teen use or lead to marijuana trickling out of the state, for instance – may take months or years to assess. But so far, the biggest snarls have revolved around shortage of supply and long lines at the handful of dispensaries. Since Colorado, for now, requires marijuana businesses to grow most of the cannabis they sell, supply and demand could be tricky, especially in these early months.
Tim Cullen, co-owner of Evergreen Apothecary in Denver, says his shop has had about 400 customers a day since Jan.1 – more than four times the 70 or 75 medical customers they were serving before that. When the shop opens at 8 a.m., there’s usually a line at least an hour long; at 5 p.m., the store hands out 80 numbers to the people remaining in line and sends everyone else home.