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10 things to know about nation's first recreational marijuana shops in Colorado

Discussion in 'Cannabis News and Activism' started by Vicki, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Herbal Alchemist

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    **In 3 days, recreational cannabis will be legal in Colorado!

    10 things to know about nation's first recreational marijuana shops in Colorado



    Denver (CNN)
    -- Colorado will begin allowing recreational marijuana sales on January 1 to anyone age 21 or over.

    Residents will be able to buy marijuana like alcohol -- except the cannabis purchase is limited to an ounce, which is substantial enough to cost about $200 or more.

    It's a big moment: Colorado will become the first state in the nation to open recreational pot stores and become the first place in the world where marijuana will be regulated from seed to sale. Pot, by the way, is the third most popular recreational drug in America, after alcohol and tobacco, according to the marijuana reform group NORML.

    Here are 10 things to know about what will be a closely watched landmark law.

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    Colorado pot sales to begin in 2014

    Voters wanted this. And the law is now in the Colorado constitution after 65% of voters said yes to legalizing recreational marijuana.


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    Colorado readies for recreational pot
    Colorado wasn't the only state to OK this in November 2012. Voters in Washington also said yes, but that state won't open marijuana retail outlets until later in 2014.

    Why?

    There are the usual "legalize it" arguments about how pot is less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco and how legalization would save taxpayers $10 billion yearly on enforcing the prohibition.

    Then there's the reality we all know: There will be a tax bonanza to public treasuries.

    Retail weed will have a 25% state tax -- plus the usual state sales tax of 2.9% -- making recreational pot one of the most heavily taxed consumer products in Colorado. Some communities are adding even more taxes to the product.

    The additional revenue will initially amount to $67 million a year, with $27.5 million of it designated to build schools, state tax officials say.

    So why bother with separatemedical marijuana?

    Because buyers of medical pot won't face the additional taxes.

    Medicinal weed in Colorado still requires a physician's recommendation, and the dispensaries will be separate outlets from the recreational pot retailers.

    How much recreational weed can I buy?

    If you are 21 or older, you can buy up to an ounce at a licensed store, as long as you have a Colorado ID. People from outside Colorado can buy a quarter ounce.

    Only a handful of stores, however, are expected to open on January 1, and Denver will be home to many of them, according to the Denver Post and the weekly Denver Westword. In fact, there are concerns that supplies will be sold out on the first day, with so few stores having passed the lengthy licensing process so far. About 160 retailers are still seeking licenses statewide.

    Users can also share an ounce of cannabis with a friend as long as no money is exchanged.

    Where can I light up?

    You won't be allowed to smoke pot in public and, in fact, can't even smoke in the pot shop or other establishments governed by the state's Clean Indoor Air Act.

    That leaves the smoking to private properties, with the owner's permission.

    Communities and counties can still choose not to allow recreational marijuana stores in their local jurisdictions, and a good many towns have, such as Colorado Springs and Greeley.

    Meanwhile, ski resorts are concerned about scofflaws lighting up while on the slopes, with smoke intruding on family settings.

    Can I grow my own?

    Yes, you can grow up to six plants in your home, but the pot patch must be enclosed and locked.

    Can the underage get busted for pot?

    Yes, it's illegal to possess and use marijuana if you're under 21, but the city of Denver this month decriminalized pot for people between ages 18 and 21. The city would keep the fines -- but remove the jail time -- for being caught with an ounce or less. The potential jail time had been up to a year.

    Youths under age 18 could be sent to a juvenile assessment center, instead of jail. The measure ensures kids "don't have to live into adulthood with mistakes they might have made when they were 19," Councilman Albus Brooks said in a Denver Post article.

    What about DUI?

    A motorist in Colorado can be ticketed for impaired driving if his or her blood shows more than 5 nanograms of active THC, the active constituent of marijuana, NORML says on its website.

    Some users will fall below that level three hours after consuming pot, but "some people will still be well above 5 ng," NORML says. "Do recognize that the effects of alcohol and marijuana together may be more than the sum of their parts."

    Some analysts describe impairment as a guessing game, depending on the person.

    "Is Colorado's marijuana DUI rule flawless? Far from it. But as the state's policymakers have come to realize, the world's first legal pot rules aren't going to be perfect. They just have to be good enough. Good enough to keep the feds away, good enough to keep marijuana stakeholders happy, good enough to keep Coloradans from worrying they've made a horrible mistake," University of Denver law professor Sam Kamin and writer Joel Warner wrote in Slate this month.

    And what about the feds?

    It's always been a murky relationship between the feds and those states with laws authorizing medical -- and now recreational -- marijuana. Federal law says the drug's possession, manufacture, and sale is illegal, punishable by up to life in prison, and its mass cultivation is a sensitive subject among growers, experts say.

    But in August, the U.S. Justice Department said it won't challenge Colorado or other states with laws legalizing recreational marijuana. Instead, federal officials will focus on serious trafficking and keeping the drug away from children.

    Does this confuse you?

    It should, one legal analyst says.

    "They should be confused," attorney Alan Dershowitz said. "The federal government still takes the position technically that you're violating federal law if you're complying with the state law. But the Obama administration, I believe, has recently has taken a turn on its approach to drug enforcement."

    Can I giggle?

    Let the jokes and puns begin -- stoned or not.

    Even Colorado NORML is being cheeky about it, posting online a list of what's allowable under the new recreational pot law.

    It's called "Doobie-DOs."
    CarolKing, M00NEY, Globbs and 23 others like this.
  2. Bob Loblaw

    Bob Loblaw Astralnaut

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    good info! thanks!
    Seren, Vicki and havealight101 like this.
  3. Snake Plissken

    Snake Plissken Transcendentalist

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    "Retail weed will have a 25% state tax -- plus the usual state sales tax of 2.9%"

    Sorry, I really need to figure out how to pull quotes from a post, but this is endorsement enough for the bm. I find it ridiculous that mj is considered evil until the minute they can make this kind of $ off of it. I like how this gives many the option to get it in the 1st place, but it is a big game. If it is now ok to use recreationally, it needs to be decriminalized - not rescheduled. With this kind of profit attached, the gov will always want to be in control of a plant.
    Adobewan, grokit, Deadhead101 and 3 others like this.
  4. grokit

    grokit power cosmic

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    Booze is technically just distilled plants, just sayin' if the people want something the profit motive will always be there. It's a shame that one can't distill one's own liquor if one prefers to do so.

    What's really needed is big, regulated outdoor grow ops to get the price so low through economy of scale that it won't matter even if they tax it at 100%, it will still be way cheaper than it is now.

    And leave personal/medical growers the fuck alone!
    tuk, Egzoset, Enchantre and 4 others like this.
  5. Snake Plissken

    Snake Plissken Transcendentalist

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    Sticking to the booze analogy, a small microbrewery will almost always produce better product than a huge international corporation. Just about anything done in small, controlled batches will be of better quality than doing it on a large scale, mass production style.

    I think value should dictate cost, not need. In almost every circumstance, competition breeds quality and cost control. Not so much w/ monopolies.
  6. grokit

    grokit power cosmic

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    I'm not saying there can't be competition, there could be dirtweed growers to hydro growers, let them compete with each other and the market will decide. Just like booze.

    That's the way it should work anyways!
    :horse:

    edit: but within the booze analogy, an important distinction should be made: that weed is less harmful than booze, so instead of receiving full hard-booze regulation it should be governed more like beer and wine. To complete the analogy, perhaps concentrates could be regulated more like hard liquor in comparison.
    StickyShisha and Vicki like this.
  7. Snake Plissken

    Snake Plissken Transcendentalist

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    Yeah, I think we're just gonna disagree on this one. I think the gov has no place in dictating what I do w/ a plant on this planet up to the point it can potentially affect others adversely (driving).

    People die in this country every day because they can't afford the medicine they need or the system that dispenses it. W/ a government monopoly, there is no competition (except the competition to make more profit).

    I can only speak from a local perspective, but OLCC controls the sale of alcohol in Oregon, not the manufacture, distribution, planting and raising of the hops, etc.

    I grow 100% organic using top shelf nutes, aerate teas, select strains and harvest for peak potency - not yield. This is the opposite of what I expect from the gov.
    t-dub, Enchantre, zymos and 1 other person like this.
  8. Bob Loblaw

    Bob Loblaw Astralnaut

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    colorado allows for home grows, so....
    grokit and aesthyrian like this.
  9. vorrange

    vorrange Well-Known Member

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    There is still a LONG way to go imo.

    Judging from the comments in media and news websites there is still a lot of the old loser stoner mentality and the it-causes-mental-problems issue.
    And the never ending you-got-to-protect-the-kids.

    What is funny is that this concern does not carry over to tobacco and alcohol.

    Apart from the expected criticisms and the focus only on the recreational side and forgetting the medical potential of this plant and for the many people who can know use it legally to improve their health, i expect a lot of adjustments to the laws in place.

    It is obvious that concentrates should have stricter regulations, especially since bad concentrates can be very damaging given that many are extracted with the help of solvents.
    And the harms of overuse exist, as we all know it.


    I just hope that the Colorado folks use it responsibly and in their homes and be wise about it. I'm sure the authorities will be extra vigilant in the begining because they have been conditioned to expect some kind of inexplicable mayhem that will obviously not happen but if people are not carefull they can get into trouble easily.

    And of course, the laws will be adjusted because many problems will arise that were not predicted. And specific circunstances will have to be evaluated that are not contemplated by the current laws in place.

    I would be extra carefull when bringing your meds with you since most cops still view this as something that they are letting you do, like a treat for a kid that will be taken away if you're a naughty boy.
    CarolKing, Egzoset and Enchantre like this.
  10. Snake Plissken

    Snake Plissken Transcendentalist

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    so,......
    As far as I understand it, none of these home grows will be supplying any of the disps (and therefore the consumer)? The last I heard there were only 20 approved vendors so far to 'commercially' grow.

    I get nervous when I see the brown shirts outside, I would feel really dumb if I waited till my neighbors started getting rounded up before I noticed a trend. Looking at every single gov institution in existence in this country and just a few pages of history, why wouldn't I assume grower rights would be in jeopardy w/ a gov monopoly on a super profitable industry? I think all of the mj propositions I have read are written begging the gov to take over and get rich, while very few have precise language protecting grower rights - which could still be amended out if they did.

    So far, it is legal to make bho in Oregon and grams of wax/shatter/etc average $25/gram. In California it is not legal to make and grams average $50-$65/gram. W/ a few bad case scenarios (like idiots blowing up their houses making bho inside) and some scare tactics (like super concentrates = od's), how inconceivable is it that eventually personal growing rights will be attacked and stripped?
  11. Vicki

    Vicki Herbal Alchemist

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    Why can't we just have a positive outlook for 2014. No need to panic until people give you reason to do so.
  12. lwien

    lwien Well-Known Member

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    But Vicki. People love to panic on negative expectations. It's an American pastime. It's almost a hobby. :brow:
    vorrange, RUDE BOY and Vicki like this.
  13. Snake Plissken

    Snake Plissken Transcendentalist

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    Not panicking so much as being aware of the world I live in. If people wait until rights are taken away until they voice opposition, it is too late.

    When the Oregon mmj prop was being designed, I voiced opposition to the wording, and total lack of botanical knowledge employed. Most were just happy to see and back any prop that was pro mj. Now we have an idiotic stipulation that we can only have 6 mature plants. Maturity was defined as 12" of either height or width - whether the plant was in veg or flower. This total disregard, and lack of any real understanding of the plant's nature when designing the law, has made for an extremely ineffective set of conditions forcing a lot of people out of compliance. Not allowing for teens means those plants count against your flower count. You either need to put in immature plants, run next to nothing in the flower room, take cuts in flower or be out of compliance. If your veg can't be over 12", when do you take cuts w/o them being oversized by the time flower happens? People's lackadaisical, just let things work themselves out, trust the gov, don't panic attitudes kinda screwed us all on this one.
    Puffers, t-dub, lost nebula and 4 others like this.
  14. RUDE BOY

    RUDE BOY Space is the Place

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    Good Luck Colorado ! The eyes of the world are on you. Do us proud.
  15. lwien

    lwien Well-Known Member

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    What is happening in Colorado is really an on-going experiment. I have no doubt that the laws will be tweaked here and there so that it works as well as it can. Most all sweeping changes to any status quo has to go through maturation before it truly becomes viable.

    I have a real aversion to the whole "slippery slope" side of debates though simply because what lies at the end of that slope has to materialize for it to have any validity whatsoever. Also, the logic behind a slippery slope argument can and HAS been used as a scare tactic on just about anything. Hell, just watch Fox News. They do it ALL the time.
    CarolKing, max, Enchantre and 4 others like this.
  16. aesthyrian

    aesthyrian Well-Known Member

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    No, we need immediate change now! It's not enough that adults no longer go to jail for a plant that is less harmful than caffeine, which any child can buy. It's not enough that no longer will families be destroyed and ripped apart over a harmless plant. It's not enough that this is the crack in the wall that will allows others to peak in and see what a state with legalize marijuana looks like, and how well it functions.

    Also, that 25% tax is going to help the states infrastructure and especially help the schools, which is what the Medical Marijuana program has been doing in Colorado the past few years. The Gov. has been using the excess funds raised from the MMJ card's to balance the state's budget and help schools. This is the reality of legal pot in Colorado.

    Legal weed that helps kids get a better education? Makes me happy... real happy.:rockon:

    Seriously, some of you are so unreasonable. In how many other aspects of your life do you get exactly what you want, immediately, 100% of the time? You must live some fucking amazing lives! Or, Maybe I just live a really shitty one? :shrug:

    Ten years ago I don't think many of us saw this happening, let alone in two states, as well Vermont which is
    decriminalized. This is a big deal, there will be ups and downs like with everything, but lets be happy and fortunate for the movements that have been made thus far. There has been a lot of hard work put into the legalization movement, and that work certainly isn't over, but we have finally begun to win. Finally. We can and will have to fix things later, but that's life in a democracy of 300+ million citizens.
  17. Bob Loblaw

    Bob Loblaw Astralnaut

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    can't we do both?
    can't we hate the limits, while celebrating the changes?
    Enchantre, grokit, aesthyrian and 2 others like this.
  18. lwien

    lwien Well-Known Member

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    Bob, you can do whatever in the hell you want to do. :tup:;)
  19. Vicki

    Vicki Herbal Alchemist

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    That's what I was about to say!

    Keeping a positive outlook doesn't mean I am against change.
    Enchantre, grokit, aesthyrian and 3 others like this.
  20. grokit

    grokit power cosmic

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    There's no government monopoly on booze, and you can't drink hops. That's all I'm saying. I'm not talking about a government monopoly, I'm talking about enough regulation to make it a viable industry.

    By encouraging competition, and paying taxes and security expenses; keeping out the criminal element is important. And yes leave personal growers the fuck alone; if they try and sell it nail them with the irs not the dea/cops/prison. I hope all goes well for CO in 2014 and that it becomes a model for the rest of the USA and the world, so that decriminalization grows like a weed everywhere!
    :peace:
  21. vorrange

    vorrange Well-Known Member

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    Just saw the video of the "first legal pot buyer". It was kind of ridiculous to be honest, with the woman showing the chocolate truffles and then a jar with buds inside.

    And the amount of journalists inside the store vs actual clients was so disproportionate that i don't understand the small coverage so far and the use of archive images for most pieces available on youtube so far.

    It's amazing that journalism has become a weird kind of reality show instead of something that actually informs people and delivers content that is important to people.


    Anyway, i agree with all of you. I have high hopes for the future, and i think Colorado has done something wonderfull for mankind, as did Uruguay and others states and countries before. Huge steps forward!

    But i think we need to remain vigilant and aware that this is an ongoing process.
    CarolKing, Egzoset, grokit and 5 others like this.
  22. RUDE BOY

    RUDE BOY Space is the Place

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    CNN is having a little more coverage as the day goes on.
  23. vorrange

    vorrange Well-Known Member

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    Can't decide if that is a good or a bad thing. :D
    grokit, Bob Loblaw and RUDE BOY like this.
  24. max

    max This space available Staff Member

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    The legalization movement is now, at least IMO, like a really big round rock rolling slowly down a slight incline. It's not gonna stop but there are still bumps to overcome and maybe some detours.

    There are also the usual 'save our kids from drugs' people still trying to demonize mj. I was watching the news the other day about Colorado and they had some long time stoner kid (almost an adult) on who was determined to be drugged out 24/7 on whatever he could get his hands on, and claimed to be addicted to mj. They followed that up with a comment from some anti-mj so-called 'expert' who said that mj was absolutely addictive, and then tried to imply, with a question to a young teen about availability, that mj use would start to go viral with kids due to legalization. Of course they left out the part about drug use NOT significantly increasing in any country where decriminalization has taken place.
    CarolKing, Kief, pakalolo and 6 others like this.
  25. aesthyrian

    aesthyrian Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but as long as you don't let your hate discourage further progress. Just makes me think back to Cali 2012 prop. 19. Oh well, maybe 2016, but then again, maybe never. You need to start the race to finish it, and more importantly to win.

    I just feel like we can wait at least one day, maybe, before we take for granted what we have just been awarded for our vigilance thus far. I don't think it's the ideal situation either, but it's definitely better than any circumstances I have ever lived under so far. That's probably true for a lot of us here.

    Colorado is also growing industrial hemp, which is amazing. That's also thanks to Amendment 64. America is the largest consumers of hemp products, yet we produce none, like usual. It really is a monumental bill, and I just hope people don't jump on some sort of nay sayer band wagon that serves no constructive purpose. It's easy to complain, but a lot harder to compromise and actually get a bill passed and gain momentum.

    I honestly don't feel like everyone who would critique this law would be the activist that they need to be in order to accomplish the passing of the laws that they wish for, which is the only other alternative to passing a bill like Amednment 64.

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