Marijuana

Colorado's State-Licensed Pot Shops Are Open for Business

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Denver Post video

Today about three dozen state-licensed pot shops opened in Colorado, the first jurisdiction in the world to legalize recreational marijuana sales. The historic event attracted pot consumers from throughout the country and journalists from around the world. The Denver Post reports that lines began forming at stores early this morning, with crowds of hundreds waiting patiently at some outlets. "It's been pretty smooth, orderly," a Denver police spokesman said. "People were acting respectable."

Curtis Durham, a 24-year-old customer at LoDo Wellness in Denver, came all the way from Chandler, Texas, to experience the thrill of being respectable. "I've been to jail two or three times just for simple marijuana possession of less than a gram," he told the Post. "I went to jail for having a pipe." At 3D Cannabis, site of the ceremonial first sale at 8 a.m., a customer from Ohio "said he drove 20 hours straight to be here and isn't going home."

The demand generated by the novelty of today's sales gave cannabis consumers a taste of the shortage they are likely to face until marijuana from the first plants legally grown for the recreational market is available in the spring:

Within hours, the hand of the free market was already evident. In the face of strong demand, one shop raised its price for an eighth of an ounce from $25 to $45. Others kept prices steady. A number of shops imposed limits on the amount of pot customers could buy.

Kayvan Khalatbari, co-owner of Denver Relief, predicts that "people are going to be able to sell eighths for 60, 70, 80 bucks for the first few months." His dispensary, one of 136 retail outlets in Colorado that have been granted state licenses for recreational sales so far, has not received local approval yet, but he's in no hurry. "We're not going to be open until mid-to-late February," Khalatbari says, and at that point Denver Relief will continue catering mainly to patients, selling about a fifth of its production to a members-only clientele of recreational users. "There are going to be a lot of places that, even though they have that [recreational] license, they're not going to be able to take care of people," he says. His advice to residents of other states who are contemplating a Colorado cannabis tour: "I would say to wait a couple months, let it die down. I think they're going to have a tough time, and they're going to pay way too much these first few months, because the supply is so limited."

They might also want to get behind legalization efforts in their own states. The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which was the main financial backer of Colorado's legalization campaign, is supporting a petition drive in Alaska for an initiative that would appeal on the ballot in August. MPP is working on November 2016 ballot initiatives in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, and Nevada, plus lobbying legislators in Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. "The era of marijuana prohibition is officially over in Colorado," says MPP Executive Director Rob Kampia. "The state is demonstrating to the rest of the nation and the entire world that regulating marijuana works."

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  1. Well here we go. It’s all real, just like they warned us in the textbooks when I was a child. Reefer madness will soon consume the planet and bring about the apocalypse. It’s all over. I’m just going to cash in my stocks and buy all the alcohol that I can, sit in my house drunk, until the reefer zombies finally arrive in my neighborhood to eat my brain.

  2. Leaked footage from Superman/Batman: Enjoy.

  3. I couldn’t help but notice this line from the article.

    “Within hours, the hand of the FREE MARKET (emphasis mine) was already evident. In the face of strong demand, one shop raised its price for an eighth of an ounce from $25 to $45. Others kept prices steady. A number of shops imposed limits on the amount of pot customers could buy.”

    Are they praising the free market, or getting ready to blame it when poor folks can’t buy high priced pot?

    1. Depends on the reader. If you think free markets are bad, then you’ll blame the higher prices on greedy store owners (instead of laying the blame on the govt regulations that led to a shortage of weed starting out).

      If you’re a little more economically savvy, you’re gonna realize this isn’t a particularly free market, but that the higher prices are a GOOD thing because it means the supply won’t run out.

      I suspect the black market pot is gonna be cheaper for a while (possibly permanently), and everyone else is gonna pay a steep premium for the privilege of legally and openly buying weed at a store.

  4. I couldn’t help but notice this line from the article.

    “Within hours, the hand of the FREE MARKET (emphasis mine) was already evident. In the face of strong demand, one shop raised its price for an eighth of an ounce from $25 to $45. Others kept prices steady. A number of shops imposed limits on the amount of pot customers could buy.”

    Are they praising the free market, or getting ready to blame it when poor folks can’t buy high priced pot?

  5. Controlled Substances Act. Supremacy Clause. Gonzales v. Raich.

    The feds have the hammer. Colorado is the nail. All they’re waiting for is an opportune moment to drop it.

    1. Supremacy Clause does not require states to criminalize everything the Feds do. It only means the states can’t contradict Federal law. Possessing and selling pot are still Federal crimes in Colorado.

      The Feds could start prosecuting people under the Controlled Substances Act. But they won’t, because if they did, they’d reveal to everyone that their hammer is made of glass. How many Federal law enforcement officers do you think there are in Colorado?

      1. The Feds could start prosecuting people under the Controlled Substances Act. But they won’t, because if they did, they’d reveal to everyone that their hammer is made of glass. How many Federal law enforcement officers do you think there are in Colorado?

        As many as it takes to stop the devil’s grass. Have no illusions, if the feds see the weed business getting too big in Colorado, they won’t hesitate to pull in as much manpower as they need to arrest people and seize assets everywhere they can.

        1. if the feds see the weed business getting too big in Colorado, they won’t hesitate to pull in as much manpower as they need to arrest people and seize assets everywhere they can.

          If Obama wants to turn CO from a light blue state to a red state again, then that is an effective plan for accomplishing that goal.

    2. The federal government is fucked as far as MJ prohibition is concerned. People got a taste of freedom and it tastes good. Impossible to control now. Not that it was possible to start with, it’s just that they might not be able to kill and imprison as many innocent people now without seriously bad PR.

      However, we will be looking at plan B soon. Prohibition for the public good, AKA Obamcare.

      1. This. We are already seeing a ballot proposition drive for drug testing for all health-care professionals in California, where you could lose your ability to practice for testing positive for MJ. You could easily see this spreading to other professions, to eligibility for benefits, for qualification for Obamacare levels. So they may make MJ legal — but then make testing positive for MJ so malignant that no one will want to use this legal substance for fear of the other issues.

  6. “It’s been pretty smooth, orderly,” a Denver police spokesman said. “People were acting respectable.”

    You mean it’s nothing like the gangbanger gauntlet, people used to have to drive thru, behind that liquor store on Martin Luther King Blvd?

    1. Pfft. I had to get mine behind the 7-11 off Lawrence Taylor Blvd. MLK blvd was for the yuppies.

  7. Within hours, the hand of the free market was already evident. In the face of strong demand, one shop raised its price for an eighth of an ounce from $25 to $45. Others kept prices steady. A number of shops imposed limits on the amount of pot customers could buy.

    Free market?

    So if my friend loads up with cheap weed grown on his private property and then sells it out of the back of his van on private property, the authorities will be fine with that? And all the vendors forced to buy god knows how many licenses from the state will be fine with him flooding the market with cheap weed and driving down prices?

    There are market effects at work here in the same way that there are in fascism and market socialism, but there isn’t a free market in sight in Colorado.

    1. If demand spikes then the prices would go up to match the supply available. If the store kept prices too low they’d sell out and lose money in the long run.

      So I’d say market forces are working they way they should in this case, although I’m sure progs would complain about price gouging and exploitation.

      1. I’m objecting to the use of “free market” to describe what’s going on in CO. If the phrase gets watered down and confused the same way that capitalism has, we won’t have a way to refer to a system of unfettered & voluntary exchange.

        1. Correct pedantry. Let’s not dilute the lingo. “Market forces” not free market. Or else we’ll be talking about health care, budget ‘cuts’, and voter suppression.

          Control the language to control the debate.

    2. “there isn’t a free market in sight in Colorado.”

      I pointed out to someone that, if and when marijuana ‘legalization’ ever takes place, they will be amazed at the unbelievable number of *new laws* put into place regulating its production, transportation, sale, consumption, etc.

      I explained, “see: post-prohibition alcohol”. The US still labors under alcohol regulations from the 1930s. With MJ, it can only ever be 10X worse.

      As nice as ‘change’ finally is, I still can’t help thinking about the million+ people whose lives have been destroyed because of pot-prohibition laws to date. I knew a few.

    3. There are market effects at work here in the same way that there are in fascism and market socialism, but there isn’t a free market in sight in Colorado.

      The free-est market are the illegal black markets, but these stores are semi-free compared to, say, trying to buy alcohol at state liquor stores in Utah.

      You have multiple competitors who can set whatever price they want for their product — that is somewhat free compared to a government monopoly telling you what you can buy and at what prices and outlawing alternatives.

  8. If California legalizes pot I wonder if we’ll get to see a marijuana float in the Rose Parade.

    They did a gay marriage float (where two dudes actually got married during the parade), so why not another culture war victory float?

  9. Just brought this back home with me.

    http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/3818/98682/

    Familiar American three Cs hops style, but the malt backbone is HUGE. Delicious.

    1. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m drinking mimosas today. So far (It’s still morning here).

      I’m also not ashamed to say that I’m cold smoking some USDA Prime Rib-Eyes with applewood and peach. I may just pull one early and have it for lunch…

      1. The prime rib sounds delicious.

    2. Oh yes that is good. A place near here had it on tap a couple of months ago, if I remember right.

    3. Last night I had Petticolas Velvet Hammer. Very nice Imperial Red.

  10. Chief Justice John Roberts rails against sequester cuts to judiciary

    Budget cuts have imperiled the ability of the federal court system to deliver prompt justice and to protect the public, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote on Tuesday in his annual report on the state of the federal judiciary. He said the mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration had taken a disproportionate toll on the federal court system and were poised to “pose a genuine threat to public safety.”

    Unlike federal agencies, the chief justice said, the federal courts do not have discretionary programs they can postpone or eliminate, “because virtually all of their core functions are constitutionally and statutorily required.”

    Chief Justice Roberts said the judicial branch had worked to reduce its costs for almost a decade, “long before the talk of fiscal cliffs and sequestration came into vogue.” This included, he said, restraints on courthouse construction and hiring.

    The cuts that went into effect in March reduced judiciary funding by 5 percent, or nearly $350 million, the chief justice wrote, though Congress restored some of the financing in October. Over time, he said, these delays will give rise to “commercial uncertainty, lost opportunities and unvindicated rights.”

    It’s not a budget cut, it’s a tax!

  11. Budget cuts have imperiled the ability of the federal court system to deliver prompt justice and to protect the public, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote on Tuesday in his annual report on the state of the federal judiciary. He said the mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration had taken a disproportionate toll on the federal court system and were poised to “pose a genuine threat to public safety.”

    Something something protect you from the consequences something something poor political decisions something.

  12. “The state is demonstrating to the rest of the nation and the entire world that regulating marijuana works.”

    Not as well as unregulated marijuana.

    1. Will there ever be a state that attempts to show that unregulated marijuana works *better*?

      1. That might not be the intent of any given state, but if most of the states each have their own laws for weed, then we can compare the outcomes of less regulated versus more regulated, and heavy weed smokers will start voting with their feet.

        1. Heavy weed smokers have long since ceased to care about how much government regulates weed.

          Very few will move to a place with better regulations, they’ll simply get weed illegally in the same way they always have.

      2. Someone should try it in a ballot initiative state.

  13. The real question is, how much will Peyton Manning be able to place the blame on legalized pot, for the post season ending INTs he’s going to hurl at some point in the playoffs?

    1. There are home field advantages and there are home field……what was I saying?

  14. Over time, he said, these delays will give rise to “commercial uncertainty, lost opportunities and unvindicated rights.”

    Seriously? That’s his argument?

  15. The proggies are going to be a joy this midterm election year. From a Facebook friend:

    — feeling progressive
    Minimum wage rises in many states, weed is legal and regulated in CO, NYC has a progressive new mayor, a gay couple gets married at the rose parade, and millions get new health insurance, moving forward into 2014!

    1. I’m just as excited about NYC’s new mayor as your progressive friend is. For different reasons.

      1. First thing on the agenda for de Blasio: put 200 people out of business by banning horse drawn carriages.

        And I’m guessing many of the horses won’t end up well either, probably sent to the knacker.

        1. It’s Been a Wonderful Life for old gelding Hydrant. From Aqueduct to Finger Lakes to Central Park to eaten by a Shi Tsu named Sebastian.

          I had him at the top of the exacta, once. He broke slow and came in eighth. Six lengths to the rear of the winner. But that’s how my luck was running then.

      2. I’m just as excited about NYC’s new mayor as your progressive friend is. For different reasons.

        Yeah. I’m looking forward to the mad flight of capital from New York city. The rest of the country is going to be a major beneficiary of wealth leaving New York.

    2. weed is legal and regulated in CO

      What makes that “progressive” is not the legalization, but the regulation.

    3. Common serf Progressives still haven’t figured out that they are against freedom of what you can put into your own body, being the original prohibitionists. They have to wait for their group think leader to tell them when they’re done being played as useful idiots.

      1. Smoking weed is cool. But only dirty proles eat McDonald’s and smoke cigarettes.

        Progressivism is a fashion statement for many, a way of signifying how enlightened and elite you are.

        1. “Progressivism is a fashion statement for many, a way of signifying how enlightened and elite you are.”

          Precisely.

          In 2008 I pointed out to one progtard that the BHO campaign was all marketing, no message. He was in strong agreement but failed to see this as an issue.

      2. Common serf Progressives still haven’t figured out that they are against freedom of what you can put into your own body

        Well, unless it’s a cock.

    4. Legal weed, gay weddings, and a soon to be massive repudiation of central planning and Progressivism. 2014 might be a great year for libertarians after all.

      1. It should be a massive repudiation, but that assumes Team Red won’t go full retard on homo-sex and abortion and squander winnable elections. No reason not to think they will in at least a few tight races.

        But as it is, I see the Dems losing at least 3 Senate seats and the only issue in doubt is how much the GOP increases its House majority.

        1. but that assumes Team Red won’t go full retard on homo-sex and abortion and squander winnable elections

          They will. Look how close Santorum got in 2012.

        2. I don’t know. Dems can pull out all the War on Wymins, anti-gay, and down right full retard comments that Team Red has on record and splatter them across every TV in every city and will still struggle to shrug off the simple fact that the middle class is getting royally fucked by O’Care.

          1. The message should be Republicans fucked everyone by sabotaging Obamacare just because it didn’t outlaw contraception.

          2. The message should be that Republicans fucked everyone by sabotaging Obamacare just because it didn’t outlaw contraception.

  16. 200 people out of business by banning horse drawn carriages.

    Social justice for horses.

    The time has come.

    1. The first time I was at Central Park, my wife, being a woman, wanted to do a carriage ride through the park.

      So we get in the carriage, when I notice a woman approaching us from somewhere with a young girl, maybe 10 or so. So then I notice she is looking at us quite intently. Then she starts shouting ‘FREE THE HORSE, FREE THE HORSE’. My wife couldn’t figure out at all what was happening. The carriage driver shouted some obscenities at her, and I honestly wanted to try to spit on her, but I couldn’t, cause you know, might have ruined the moment…

      1. This is why I sport the Death Monocle, sharpened for use like a throwing star.

        1. I used to do that, but then I got the big scar…

          Chicks dig it, though, so… win?

      2. I honestly wanted to try to spit on her, but I couldn’t, cause you know, might have ruined the moment…

        I’m assuming you were planning on getting a ‘reward’ from her later, so good call.

      3. I honestly wanted to try to spit on her

        She was 10.

        Probably “freed” her hamster the week before.

        1. No, read again. The one shouting ‘free the horse’ that I wanted to spit on, was probably in her mid 30s to 40s. The girl with her, who was silent, was maybe 10. I assume the poor child was the daughter of the deranged shouter.

          1. This is what I use my “Patronizing, Sneering, Imperialist, Capitalist, Conqueror of Animals and Third World Brown Peoples, Pillager of the Earth and Connoisseur of Endangered-Species-P?t?”-Laugh for.

            I will point while laughing, and say, “I’m sorry dear; you *can’t* ride for free. It will cost you the same as anyone else”

          2. The correct response is, “SHOW US YOUR TITS!!!!” This will take far more explaining to her daughter.

    2. My favorite part of the carriage ban is that De Blasio idiotically said they’ll replace them with some sort of electric buggy or other form of transportation.

      It never occurs to the nitwit that if people wanted to be driven around in electric buggies someone already would have started a business to do so.

      1. if people wanted to be driven around in electric buggies someone already would have started a business to do so.

        And they have. It’s quite common to see horseless carriages, painted in a bright shade of yellow, in the streets of NYC.

        1. The reason people use taxi cabs is different than the reason they use horse drawn buggies.

          One is a mode of transport and the other is entertainment.

      2. Can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ve been waiting years to enjoy a romantic rickshaw ride with the right lady.

        1. I tried that but she complained that it made her legs and shoulders tired. I told her how romantic it was and it only got an extra mile or two out of her.

          1. For some reason my dumb ass didn’t see that one coming, and so I laughed heartily and made the dogs bark well after midnight.

    3. Social justice for horses.

      For values of “social justice” that equal “they all get killed”, then sure.

  17. SadBeard: Let’s adopt the French Republican Calendar!

    The Republican Calendar adopted during the French Revolution, and then abandoned, points the way. It starts by tackling the most ridiculous aspect of the current calendar?months are not divisible into weeks. In the new system, there will be 12 months. Each month consists of three weeks. Each week consists of 10 days. At the end of the year there’s a five-day Christmas/New Year’s holiday. On leap years the five-day holiday will be extended to six days.

    Best of all, instead of a week consisting of five workdays and two weekend days it will consist of seven workdays and three weekend days. Having 30 percent of the week be weekend time rather than the current 28.5 percent of the week has two major advantages. One is that you can maintain a constant number of hours of work per week by slightly extending the workday, which would still result in less commuting and therefore less pollution and less wasted time. The other is that it will smooth the transition to an era of higher productivity and less working. Many firms will probably find that there actually isn’t that much need to try to get people to extend their work hours. That simply making the shift from having everyone work five days out of seven to having everyone work seven days out of ten is good enough.

    He gets *paid* to write this.

    1. Having three days off in a row will never make up for working seven in a row. The only way I can see that part working is if one of your three days off breaks up your seven consecutive days.

      1. As long as we’re imagining completely useless fantasies about labor scheduling, why not put everyone int the country on the DuPont schedule?

        It fucking sucks when moving from the day to the night shift but the seven-off-in-twenty-eight is kind of nice.

        1. The main problem with the DuPont schedule is that while those nice blocks of 3 days off look sweet, they are actually mostly wandered through in a haze of your body rebelling against the change from night to day.

    2. That is more wall of Sadbeard text than I’m willing to commit to.

    3. Ugh. As someone who spent way too much time fixing legacy systems when they fucked with daylight savings time, I can only shudder to think of how much money would be wasted converting all the date/time code out there to match this.

      1. The “broken windows” fallacy applied to computing. Not to mention, my gawd, can you imagine what this would do to MS windows?

    4. I love how every article Sadbeard writes is in the style of “here’s a neat idea”

      “Eating inside is a neat idea”

      “Frozen burritos are a neat idea”

      “The revolutionary calendar is a neat idea.”

      1. “Continually embarrassing myself in public is a neat idea.”

    5. Next article, this idiot will discuss the merits of binding priests and nuns together naked, and drowning them in the Loire.

  18. The question is, what does this mean for industrial hemp?

    1. Hahaha, it’s so cute that you think that was a real thing that people cared about.

      1. Woody Harrelson’s pants disagree with this statement.

        1. My point is that “industrial hemp,” like “medical marijuana,” was a red herring in the fight to legalize recreational marijuana. To imagine that a significant portion of the supporters of marijuana legalization were motivated by a desire to see industrial or prescription medical uses legalized is the height of naivete.

          1. I hope I didn’t go over your head with my irony, in that Woody Harrelson’s clothing and possibly Willie Nelson’s push for bio-diesel were probably the only people that actually believed in that sort of commercialization. Everyone else just wanted the weed. Those two guys actually had some commercial planning for those uses, and really wanted legal weed, too.

            1. No, the irony did not escape me. I know there were some out there who had industrial hemp products to offer. It just strains credulity to think that it was a anything more than a sideshow in the big picture of legalized marijuana.

              1. Absolutely, the mere fact that two of the biggest stoners around could serve as the face of ‘industrial hemp’ speaks volumes to that point.

                If DuPont or 3M were making the push, then maybe.

                1. Actually, IceTrey’s original question is an interesting one. Is industrial hemp specifically or implicitly legalized in Colorado now? It might be an interesting investment opportunity.

                2. It’s a minor agricultural product compared to corn or rice, but there’s money to be made growing hemp. Not as much as smokeable weed, granted — it’s like popcorn (1% of the corn crop) versus the 98% of corn that gets turned into HFCS and whatnot.

                  1. It’s a minor agricultural product NOW.

                    1. Where’s the demand? Now if everyone takes up shibari

      2. My question has nothing to do with what people care about. You can shove your condescension up your ass. I’ll bet you care about that.

        1. Well, sorry about that. I thought for sure you were asking that question ironically. It is an interesting question. But it is very much secondary to the question of legal marijuana as an intoxicant.

  19. there isn’t a free market in sight in Colorado.

    Does the pot sold in the licensed stores bear any kind of tax stamp?

    Because if it doesn’t, the real boon from this law is that if you are in possession of some pot not bought in one of the stores, what are the cops supposed to do?

    Walking around with your OWN pot is effectively legal now, if there’s no way to identify the pot sold in the stores.

    1. This is why we need GMO pot with genetic markers.

  20. Thank you to the good people of Colorado.
    You are proving that there never was a reason for police state, military reprisals against cannabis consumers.
    If that had not been proven already by 20+ yrs of decriminalization and medical marijuana in the US and around the world.
    Mr. Obama.
    Tear down this Wall.

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