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Colorado Recreational Marijuana Laws Enter Second Phase

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A big change went into effect for Colorado marijuana businesses yesterday. Effective July 1, 2014, recreational marijuana business licenses are no longer restricted to those with existing medical marijuana licenses. Now, if you are a Colorado resident and meet the other requirements, you can apply for a recreational marijuana business license. Even better, you don’t have to grow in order to be licensed to sell, and vice-versa. As the Denver Post reports:

[W]hen these new businesses begin opening in October, all recreational marijuana companies will be allowed to specialize — as wholesale growers without a storefront, for instance, or as stand-alone stores that don’t grow their supply. The only requirement is that owners be Colorado residents.

Legal recreational marijuana is now at the 6 month mark. It contributed $11 million in retail sales taxes to the state’s coffers in the first four months. According to a study by the Drug Policy Alliance,

According to the state’s department of revenue, the first four months of legal marijuana sales have resulted in $10.8 million in taxes. Governor Hickenlooper estimated sales in all marijuana stores will approach $1 billion for the 2014 fiscal year. Retail store sales are estimated to account for more than $600 million of that, more than 50 percent higher than initially projected

The industry has provided an estimated 10,000 jobs. Even our Governor is pleased. He is quoted in the Drug Policy Alliance report as saying:

“While the rest of the country’s economy is slowly picking back up, we’re thriving here in Colorado.”

Two other benefits: Violent crime is down 5.2 % in Denver, which is home to most of the businesses. And, by the end of 2014, the state will have reaped savings of $12 million to $40 million in law enforcement associated expenses which would have been spent had the old laws criminalizing marijuana still been in effect.

What about the children? Another fear that hasn’t panned out. When the Marijuana Enforcement Division recently conducted undercover operations to see if retailers would sell to minors, they didn’t get a single taker.

Colorado Issues 136 Marijuana Business Licenses

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Christmas comes early to Colorado….

The Denver Post reports the state made history yesterday when it became the first state to issue businesses licenses to sell marijuana for recreational use. So far, 136 licenses were issued. The licensed stores can begin selling pot to adults on January 1.

In addition to the retail licenses, the Post reports Colorado issued licenses for “178 marijuana-cultivation facilities” and “31 marijuana-infused products makers.”

Here’s a map of the stores that received licenses. Here’s an article about one Colorado pot bakery whose business is already booming. Meanwhile, tickets for pot consumption are up sharply from 2012.

The new laws do not allow people to smoke pot in public.

Denver Wants You to Know

 

The City and County of Denver has a new website on marijuana. Not surprisingly, it concentrates on what is not legal. The six things it wants you to know:

  •   It is illegal to consume marijuana in public.
  •  It is illegal to take marijuana out of state.
  •  Only licensed establishments can sell retail marijuana products.
  •  It is illegal for retail establishments to give or sell marijuana to minors.
  • You must be over 21 to possess or use “retail marijuana
  •  It is illegal to “drive high

Some other things Denver would like you to know:

  •  Colorado residents over age 21 can buy and possess up to 1 ounce of retail marijuana at a time. Non-residents are limited to ¼ ounce.
  • Until 2016,  you must be a currently licensed medical marijuana center, manufacturer or cultivator to apply for recreational retail license.

As for growing marijuana in your home:

  • Colorado residents over age 21 can grow up to 6 marijuana plants. But roommates take note: No more than 12 total plants are allowed per residence regardless of the number of adults living there.
  •  Marijuana plants must be kept in an enclosed, locked area.

As for Brewer and Shipley, 43 years have passed and they’re still performing the song.