Pot Shops Are Poles Apart In Colorado And Washington

WASHINGTON:  The first thing I noticed was that the pot stores here don’t smell right – and that they can be awfully hard to find.

In Washington state, I visited several of the state’s legal recreational marijuana stores as part of USA TODAY’S continuing coverage of the nation’s fast-growing cannabis industry. I’m based in Denver, in the only other state that permits recreational sales, and my trip to Washington was intended to help me better understand the two states’ approaches.

If you didn’t know marijuana was legal in Washington state, you’d be hard-pressed to guess. Only 60 pot-shop licenses have been granted statewide. When I was there, only one store served all of Seattle, and it was basically out of stock. A second has since opened up.

In Denver, more than two dozen marijuana stores serve downtown, and Colorado has licensed more than 230 retail stores. If I need to interview buyers or sellers, there are three stores within a one block of my downtown Denver apartment.



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