COLORADO: On New Year’s Day, some Colorado marijuana dispensaries are set to become the first in the nation to legally sell weed for recreational use.
But it hasn’t been a ride on Easy Street. In addition to trying to clear the hoop maze of local and state licensing issues in time for Jan. 1, local potpreneurs in the Centennial State say a cannabis shortage could strike within a week’s time after opening for business.
Medical marijuana was legalized in Colorado in 2010, and The Denver Post reported earlier this year that there are just under 700 medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, which require customers to have a red card, given to them by a physician, in order to purchase weed. According to the Associated Press, only 160 of those stores have applied to sell recreational pot, which they can only sell to adults over 21 during mandated hours of business. (Which means there will be no late-night stops at the pot shop.)
Those working to comply with regulations and open for recreational sales in 2014 say demand is going to quickly outstrip supply.
“We are definitely going to run out of cannabis. The question is when,” says Denver’s Discreet Dispensary owner Toni Fox, who expects to be cleared to open on Jan. 1 and estimates her shelves will be cleaned out by Jan. 6.