Dear Stoner: My husband and I are traveling to Colorado from Illinois and are wondering: If we have medical marijuana licenses from California, would they work in Colorado?
Shirley, via the potline
Dear Shirley: Unfortunately, no. Your card from California will not work in Colorado, as we don't offer reciprocation for our state medical marijuana program. That means you'll have to do your shopping at one of our recreational marijuana shops and, unfortunately, probably pay a lot more for bud than you're used to paying in California at a dispensary — in addition to the roughly 20 percent tax on top. The good news is that if you're both at least 21, you can legally possess up to an ounce of recreational herb at a time in Colorado.
In you're planning future vacations around medical cannabis, your California card will work in Arizona, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Rhode Island and Oregon — though technically, you've got to register with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program and see an Oregon doctor before it's legal. Also, the rumor is that Nevada will allow for reciprocation and out-of-state patients will be able to shop at Las Vegas dispensaries when they open later this year. Keep in mind that you are subject to the laws of the state you're in, not the state where your card was issued.
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Dear Stoner: Where can I find info about wages in the business? I can't seem to find anything anywhere. Thanks.
Will Work for Weed
Dear WWW: There really aren't any single repositories for medical and recreational wages in Colorado, and most of the information on wages isn't that easy to find. (We imagine dispensary owners like keeping their employees in the dark as to how much other people are making.) But on average, you aren't going to be making big bucks. Budtender and trimmer wages start at the federal minimum and peak at around $15 an hour. Getting a job in a greenhouse or as a manager is somewhat more lucrative, with wages up to about $25 an hour if you're really working with the plants and not just moving buckets of soil around. Head-grower positions can earn $50,000 to $70,000, but those are pretty hard to come by.
The real money in the marijuana industry is working for the Dark Side: The City of Denver is willing to pay a new assistant city attorney up to $195,037 per year to focus on marijuana regulation, and the state Marijuana Enforcement Division was recently hiring investigators at more than $80K annually. Of course, then you'd be working for The Man — and nobody would ever trust you again.