Stores selling recreational marijuana in U.S. will open January

Tourists in Amsterdam may recount the beautiful streets, the shops, the museums, the red light district, and of course the smart shops. In a response to last year’s legislation, Colorado is set to open some smart shops of its own. On January 1, the state of Colorado is set to open retail stores selling…wait for it…recreational marijuana.

Bringing all new meaning to the phrase “Rocky Mountain High” a dispensary in the middle of Colorado’s mountainous and appropriately named Central City called Annie’s, which currently sells medical marijuana, has been granted the world’s first retail license to sell the herb for recreational purposes. Like Annie’s, many other shops in the state are hoping to soon follow Annie’s lead. Strainwise, which owns Annie’s and seven other dispensaries, plans to follow up by seeking the same license for its other shops as well.

According to the Denver Post, Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division has received and accepted 136 additional applications by state shops hoping to legally sell recreational marijuana. If approved, all shops that submitted their application by October will be able to begin stocking their shelves by the first of January, 2014.

This major milestone comes in the wake of last year’s election in which Colorado’s Amendment 64 was passed allowing sale of marijuana for recreational purposes. The Colorado Department of Revenue released its rules and regulations for licensing and how the drug can be sold back in July. According to the 60-page document, sales will be limited to adults over the age of 21, and Colorado residents will not be allowed to possess more than one ounce at a given time. Tourists in Colorado will only be able to purchase up to a quarter of an ounce.

Co-director of last year’s legalization campaign, Mason Tvert, in an interview with the Huffington Post said, “Colorado is moving forward and leaving marijuana prohibition behind. For the first time in history, those who sell marijuana are receiving licenses from the state instead of rap sheets. Marijuana is an objectively less harmful [substance] than alcohol, and it is finally starting to be treated that way.”

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