By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
By Michael Roberts
By Melanie Asmar
The calls and e-mails keep coming, sometimes several an hour. And they all want to know the same thing: On January 1, where will they be able to buy pot?
Good question. The state just released its first list of 136 completed applications for recreational marijuana stores on Monday, but all of those applicants still need to jump through the hoops in their various municipalities before they can sell marijuana. By mid-December, Denver — which has over 200 medical marijuana dispensaries, the only businesses that can apply to sell recreational marijuana — had received more than 100 applications to open retail stores. Current estimates have just a dozen stores fully licensed to legally sell pot in Denver on January 1...but some won't know until the last minute. Anyone who's ever tried to open a restaurant in this city can tell you how nail-biting the wait can be — but, hey, wasn't Amendment 64 designed to treat marijuana like alcohol, anyway?
While other towns have removed any suspense by putting a moratorium on retail marijuana or banning it outright, Glendale, Edgewater and Wheat Ridge should all have shops up and running in the new year. So will Central City, where the first Rush to the Rockies began in 1859: Annie's Emporium, a combo convenience store/liquor store, was the first spot in the state to get a local sales license for recreational marijuana. Annie's was also the first place to get a limited-stakes gaming license in the state, but it didn't last long as a casino. From boom to bust...or is that buds?
Still, for now green is the new gold, and the rush is on — both to open stores and to find them. Count tourists, especially skiers, among those rushing to Colorado (Washington's stores won't be open until at least spring) to take advantage of the new laws allowing the purchase of pot. But where, exactly?
Colorado may be one of the first two states in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana — and the only state to have an official song that documents the joys of smoking pot, "Rocky Mountain High" — but officials here have been remarkably prudish about satisfying the curiosity of consumers. Last week, the Colorado Tourism Office finally issued an official statement on marijuana for its constituents: "With Amendment 64 being fully implemented on January 1, 2014, it is impossible to forecast how the law may impact tourism. However, it is important to note that the law specifically bans public consumption of the drug, and smoking marijuana in public remains illegal. The Colorado Tourism Office has positioned Colorado as a premier four-season destination, and the organization has no plans to use the legalization of the drug to promote the state."
Or even acknowledge it publicly: If you enter the word "marijuana" on colorado.com, the state's official tourism site, nothing comes up. Ditto for "Amendment 64." Conduct the same search at coloradoskicountry.com, and the screen is as white as a backcountry slope at dawn. If you enter those words at denver.org, the official site for Visit Denver, you just find an out-of-date listing for a discussion of legal marijuana: "Join Active Minds as we delve into the background of this unfolding story." But none of that story unfolds on denver.org. Nor will you find it at downtowndenver.com, where entering the word "marijuana" sends you to a page that announces, "Denver Launches Website to Address the Public's Questions about Retail Marijuana," and a link that...doesn't exist. "Uh Oh! This is somewhat embarrassing!" chirps downtowndenver.com. No kidding.
If you go to the official Colorado website, colorado.gov, you'll find a number of links: to the Department of Revenue's Marijuana Enforcement Division for retail licensing information, to the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, even to marijuanainfodenver.com, the site the City of Denver unveiled on December 9 (which is where Downtown Denver tries to send you). Hyped prominently on the home page of denvergov.org, the site reads as if it had been written by Carrie Nation, the teetotaler who once wielded her hatchet in this city. But at least it has some answers, even if they're delivered in finger-wagging fashion: "This site is intended to be an informational overview of marijuana laws in Denver, but it is up to each individual to understand and follow the law. This site is not providing medical advice about the health and safety risks of marijuana consumption or legal advice on compliance with all applicable laws."
Nor will it tell you where you can buy recreational marijuana on January 1. For that, you'll have to use a time-honored technique: finding a connection through word of mouth — or word of web. (Westword.com will be a good place to start.)
And how many shops will be open that day? Good question. All we know right now is that they will probably be outnumbered by the number of national reporters here to document how Colorado goes to pot.
well said Mae but I don't think anyone needs to justify themselves to people like that, you are who you are and thats good enough : )
Everyone has an addiction. Don't judge others addictions just because it isn't your preference. Get off your high horse and realize what you're saying. You could be addicted to smoking cigarettes which kills more people then suicide. You may be addicted to porn. You may be addicted to drinking, which drunk drivers kill innocent people. You may be addicted to coffee which turns your teeth yellow. Smokers are addicted to the high which makes them happy, hungry and sleepy. Happy people are the best people! Again, everyone has an addiction to something so don't be so quick to judge!
Cindy Zavala I am a proud smoker with a full time job, full benefits, and a continuing education. I don't live in my parent's basement and I'm not even sure how one can "do pee tests". Love and light, my friend. You need it.
Come on Westword, how many times do I have to get excited when I see this headline, only to click it, and see a link from days ago? What next, are you going to post a story about NASA landing on the moon in the 60's?
"And how many shops will be open that day? Good question. All we know right now is that they will probably be outnumbered by the number of national reporters here to document how Colorado goes to pot." The people have spoken!
LOL, gotcha. Kind of like how those Nebraska troopers have nothing of any consequence to say when all that "For in State use medical marijuana" has been being siezed crossing the border. LOL. Rage on my friend, rage on. For clarity though, and seriously, I'm a committed advocate for medical marijuana use. I would not have survived my one year of taking Bactrim and the associated uncontrollable vomiting without Marinol. I just really have a problem with how the medical marijuana movement got hijacked and in a lot of cases, willingly surrendered itself to the recreational use faction. That's where my sarcasm comes from, well, that and the fact that it's most likely that "dirty money" will infiltrate and dominate the marijuana industry in Colorado as there is no real chance of it staying out as long as the Federal Govt can step back in at any minute and, if they so choose, shut Colorado's whole "green scene" down tighter than a Blockbuster store. No major lender is interested in bankrolling an industry that is high on startup costs for a loan when the only thing allowing it to exist is a Federal Govt. that has been choosing, repeat CHOOSING not to enforce existing DEA laws. Not saying it's fair, just saying it's a fact.
It may be legal now but don't bitch and moan when you don't pass a drug test to get a job. Most employers do pee tests now. So you will be stuck in your mom's basement for a while.
You people and your close-minded, ignorant views on "pot smokers" and priorities. Educate yourselves.
Pull in & get your smoke. Pull out and get a DUID becouse of the bullshit 5 ng law passed. One step forward, two steps back. Pathetic.
If being able to buy weed at a store is up there on your priority list, then you must have too much time on your hands. It's not like a person couldn't ever buy weed before all of this became into law anyway. Weed has always been easy to find. Like I said about priority's. Flushing the toilet is more important.
Westword...chill the fuck out on your weed driven bs...your trying to hard to over-excited the stoner population. For everyone else, relax, man...the stores aint goin anywhere.
It might be like Cali a few years back, most of the shops could get raided. Also, every one of the shops is gonna get robbed, owners and workers are gonna get murdered for weed. With medical you had to show a card, drivers license, etc.... with recreational, fools from all over the planet gonna be jacking the shops left and right.
I know one thing they can expect, just because it's legal, they're still gonna be stuck in their mom's basement enjoying it because you know.....pot smokers.
Daniel Wetteland, as long as they still know how to spell and punctuate better than you, I'm sure they aren't the ones worried. Employers prefer the literate. :)
Our jails will be less full of non-dangerous people. Our schools will be better funded. And that's about it.
Gee Daniel Wetteland & Diana Sunshine Wulf - maybe Obama WILL GET YOU one of his 'Shovel Ready' Jobs, as employers don't want 'Stoners' operating dangerously in the workplace !!!
Wait till you get out of high school, then you will see that pot doesn't just make you happy and hungry. It makes you stupid and lazy, it stops your brain development.
Wait till you are older and you see people that were once your friends and it is blatant the damage that 20 years of pot smoking does to a person.
@tutonehcc liqour stores, pharmacies, and bars dont get robbed?