America's first retail stores selling marijuana open for business in Colorado on Wednesday, putting the western state in the vanguard of the country's evolving attitudes on legalizing the drug.
Officials in the state famous for its ski resorts and breathtaking mountain vistas have issued 348 retail marijuana licenses—including for small shops—that allow for the selling of up to 28 grams of pot to people aged 21 or older starting January 1.
Washington state on the US Pacific coast will follow Colorado several months from now, when it also allows stores to begin selling cannabis.
Both states legalized recreational consumption of marijuana in referendums held in November last year, but the new rules coming into force allow cannabis shops.
State officials here anticipate that marijuana sales will generate some $67 million in annual tax revenue.