Colorado Awards the World's First Recreational Pot License

that Annie’s, a medical marijuana center in Central
City, Colorado, recently received the state’s very first
recreational pot license. It is also, as far as I know, the world’s
very first recreational pot license, since Colorado is the first
jurisdiction in history to officially and explicitly allow the sale
of cannabis for general consumption. It is ahead of Washington,
accepting license applications on Monday. And although
the sale of marijuana by “coffee shops” has been tolerated in the
Netherlands since the 1970s, such transactions remain illegal
there. Prior to prohibition, cannabis was an ingredient in various
over-the-counter remedies, but they were ostensibly for medical
use, and there would have been no reason for a business selling
them to hold a marijuana-specific license. So unless
pre-prohibition China or India issued licenses to recreational pot
shops, I’d say this is the first. 

Central City,
the seat of Gilpin County, is a Rocky Mountain town with a
population of about 700 (per the Census Bureau) located 35 miles
west of Denver.
 started as a convenience store and began selling
marijuana to patients with doctor’s recommendations a few years
ago. It is currently owned by Strainwise, a chain that includes
seven other dispensaries in Denver, Idaho Springs, and Wheat Ridge.
Three of the company’s five outlets in Denver also have been
approved to sell marijuana for recreational use, but Annie’s got
its license first. 

All of the new pot shops will initially be medical marijuana
centers crossing over into the recreational market. State law gives
them a three-month head start in the licensing process, and local
ordinances give them additional protection from competition. For
example, Denver, home to more dispensaries than the rest of the
state combined, is
new entrants until February 1, 2016. The dispensaries
would have had an advantage in any case, since their grow
operations are already up and running. They are required to grow at
least 70 percent of what they sell, a rule the state legislature
has extended until next fall. Although growing marijuana for
recreational sales will not be officially allowed until January 1,
there should be enough leeway in the medical system for pot stores
to start serving the general public at that point, without having
to wait several months for a new harvest. A dispensary is allowed
to grow up to six plants for each patient who designates it as his
primary provider, meaning dispensaries can grow substantially more
than their current customers are buying, as demonstrated by the
fact that they are allowed to sell up to 30 percent of their
marijuana to other outlets. That surplus will have to tide the new
stores over until next spring.

Addendum: A reader
: Will Annie’s, given its history as a grocery store,
sell snacks along with marijuana products? That sounds like a
natural combination, but it is forbidden
by Colorado’s pot shop regulations.

from Hit & Run

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