Local businesses make a killing with a ‘tidal wave’ of drug vacationers to the Centennial State, where buying pot became legal Jan. 1, though not smoking it in public or carrying it across the border. First came the marijuana tourists. Then came the marijuana busts. Since Colorado legalized recreational pot on Jan. 1, two people have been cited by cops for public consumption.
Cheyenne Fox, an employee and daughter of the owner of a Denver marijuana store, attaches radio frequency tracking tags to pot plants maturing inside a grow house. Local businesses are reaping the harvest as tourists flock to Colorado, where buying pot became legal Jan. 1.
“Overall, I think things went relatively smoothly,” said Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson, citing “thousands” of marijuana users toking up in the Centennial State — the first place in the U.S. where buying a joint is completely legal.
Of course, pot can’t be consumed in public — though the penalty for doing so is the criminal equivalent of a parking ticket, with a top fine of $150.
Legal highs — and simple rules — are why Colorado is already becoming the first “pot tourism” mecca in the United States, the Alpine Amsterdam, if you will.
“The demand for our service has been nearly overwhelming — there’s a tidal wave,” said Peter Johnson of Colorado Green Tours, whose magic bus ferries tourists on tours of three of the newly legal dispensaries for $399 — weed not included.
An eighth of an ounce is running about $65.
He said that 4,000 people have already signed up for his ganja express, which will include visits with the pot growers, chefs who cook with wacky tobaccy and some of the dozens of shops in and around Denver where it’s now legal for anyone 21 or older to have a date with Mary Jane.
“We want to show you that this is real and something you can go home and talk about with people,” said Brown.
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