DENVER—Driving east on Interstate 70 through Denver's warehouse district, the smell of the marijuana plants growing inside unmarked industrial buildings blasts through car air vents and overwhelms drivers who roll down their windows.
The smell is a pungent reminder that the state of Colorado is now home to some of the world's laxest marijuana regulations.
The state legalized medicinal marijuana use in 2000, but in November voters in Colorado went even further by approving a constitutional amendment that legalizes recreational marijuana for all users over 21 and aims to "regulate marijuana like alcohol."
Now, a governor-appointed "Amendment 64" task force is racing to draft regulations on everything from banking to public safety, to submit to the governor and the general assembly by the end of February. The legal sale of marijuana to recreational users is scheduled to begin as early as October.