Posts Tagged ‘Retail Marijuana’


Jan. 2014

Legalized Retail Marijuana Sales Begin in Colorado


Long lines were the norm yesterday as many Coloradans rang in the New Year by exploring the dozens of freshly legalized retail marijuana establishments now open for business.

Posted By: Rob McGough

Universal Symbol for Retail Marijuana Labeling Requirements

 

Long lines were the norm yesterday as many Coloradans rang in the New Year by exploring the dozens of freshly legalized retail marijuana establishments now open for business.  A product of Colorado’s Constitutional Amendment 64, passed by a 55%-45% margin during the November 2012 state-wide elections, legalized retail marijuana sales began on January 1, 2014 in those Colorado municipalities who have elected to permit such sales within their jurisdictions.

Most out-of-staters, indeed, many Coloradans, are not aware that Article XVIII, Section 16 of Colorado’s Constitution allows local governments to opt out of permitting retail sales in their jurisdictions. To date, well over 100 local governments, including Colorado Springs, Colorado’s second largest city, have exercised their Constitutional right to ban retail marijuana sales within their borders. Several other municipalities, including Boulder and Aurora, are taking a slower approach to see how the retail sale of the plant shakes out in other jurisdictions. The City and County of Denver, however, where more than 66% of voters approved of Amendment 64, have fully embraced marijuana retail sales and so far issued more than 100 retail licenses.

For the first two years, retail licenses are limited to applicants who are already licensed medical marijuana distributors. This limitation makes perfect sense given these businesses are already known commodities to relevant state and local regulatory and law enforcement agencies, as well as the fact that previously existing medical marijuana establishments already have much of the infrastructure in place necessary to satisfy legal and regulatory requirements. Moreover, ownership of marijuana retail establishments is limited to individuals who have been Colorado residents for at least two years.

Widespread interest in this burgeoning Colorado industry should come as no surprise, as the Colorado Department of Revenue has predicted nearly $600 million in profits from the retail sale of marijuana in the first year alone. Such profits would generate $67 million in new tax revenues for the state, the first $40 million of which is already committed to building new schools.

Only time will tell if Colorado’s bold move from decriminalization to legitimization of marijuana for personal consumption pays off. While legal, consumers can expect that laws regarding its use will be vigorously enforced – smoking marijuana anywhere outside one’s home is strictly prohibited, and out-of-state residents are limited to purchasing a quarter ounce (while those with Colorado ID can purchase up to an ounce). So, if you are an out-of-stater and plan to combine a future ski vacation to Colorado with your interest in legally consuming marijuana, do not light up in your hotel room or on the ski slopes, and definitely do not try and cross state lines before you have consumed your entire stash!