MJ Industry Prepares for 2014, is Colorado Ready?

Sep 3, 2013

In four months, adults in Col­orado will be able to walk into a store, plunk down cash and leave with a drug that used to land peo­ple in prison. No one, though, is sure what the future holds. Will the new indus­try dam­age the state’s rep­u­ta­tion, grow the drug cul­ture, spread mar­i­juana into neigh­bor­ing states, intox­i­cate young peo­ple and spur more crime? Or will it bring an unrec­og­niz­able change, pro­duce needed tax rev­enue, drive a stake in marijuana’s black mar­ket and extin­guish unnec­es­sary pros­e­cu­tions? “It’s like being sucked into a black hole. What is going to be on the other side? No one knows,” said Ry Prichard, part-owner of a hash oil com­pany, TC Labs. Dur­ing the first week of Jan­u­ary, when the first stores are expected to open in Den­ver, the world’s media will prob­a­bly descend on Col­orado to doc­u­ment the occa­sion. Lines that form in the state for every­thing from new dough­nut shops to ski sales are expected to wrap around busi­nesses as cus­tomers queue up for the first buds. “You are going to have the inter­na­tional media here for New Year’s Eve, and they are not com­ing for the fire­works,” said Den­ver City Coun­cil­man Char­lie Brown. “Then there is going to be a photo that moves across the wire that is going to por­tray Den­ver one way or another. That is going to define Den­ver. It will be an image changer. There is no doubt.” Rolling Stone mag­a­zine recently called Den­ver “America’s undis­puted stoner cap­i­tal” with two Jerry Garcia-themed bars, the same num­ber of med­ical mar­i­juana dis­pen­saries as liquor stores and, of course, the Mile High nick­name. A grower told the mag­a­zine that the Platte River Val­ley run­ning through the city has the high­est con­cen­tra­tion of mar­i­juana on the planet. “I remem­ber the first day that I walked into a (dis­pen­sary), it blew my mind,” said Prichard, who takes pro­fes­sional pho­tographs of mar­i­juana. “Yeah, the shock of being able to see 100 edi­ble prod­ucts, 60 strains of mar­i­juana, and being able to talk to some­one who is knowl­edge­able about the prod­uct. It is going to wel­come a lot of new peo­ple into the fold to under­stand how incred­i­ble and beau­ti­ful this plant is and how it has come so far from 30 years ago.” Already busi­nesses that cater to mar­i­juana tourism are see­ing an increase in inter­est — espe­cially after last week’s announce­ment by the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment won’t stand in the way of mar­i­juana legal­iza­tion in Col­orado or Wash­ing­ton state. Matt Brown, who started My 420 Tours in Den­ver, said he is get­ting e-mails and calls from around the world from peo­ple look­ing to come to Den­ver and expe­ri­ence the new indus­try. “The demand has been ridicu­lous,” Brown said. “On our end, we have done zero adver­tis­ing (and) made no attempt to seek media. But we are hav­ing hun­dreds of peo­ple a week hit­ting the site and peo­ple say­ing, ‘Please offer us some vaca­tion pack­ages.’ “ If every­thing goes as planned, stores will open dur­ing the first days of Jan­u­ary — about six months ahead of Wash­ing­ton state, which also legal­ized adult-use pot last year. Snipped Com­plete Arti­cle: http://​drugsense​.org/​u​r​l​/​s​g​k​P​n​XCS Source: Den­ver Post (CO) Author: Jeremy P. Meyer, The Den­ver Post Pub­lished: Sep­tem­ber 1, 2013 Copy­right: 2013 The Den­ver Post Web­site: http://​www​.den​ver​post​.com/ Con­tact: openforum@​denverpost.​com

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MJ Indus­try Pre­pares for 2014, is Col­orado Ready?

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