First Applications for Recreational Pot Shops Submitted in Colorado

As Colorado transforms marijuana legalization from law into practice, entrepreneurs are lining up to open the first-ever recreational pot shops in the nation. The state’s new Marijuana Enforcement Division, charged with implementing and helping to regulate the burgeoning industry, accepted the U.S.’s first applications for the adult-only shops on Oct. 1.

The land of Rocky Mountains and columbines is running ahead of Washington State, which which also legalized use and sale of the herb in 2012. According to a Seattle Times article on Sept. 4, Washington has already set its rules for recreational pot sales, which would allow up to 334 marijuana stores to open in the state. However, Washington authorities will not begin to accept applications until Nov. 18.

The Denver Post reported that applications for Colorado’s shops were submitted on an appointment-only basis to avoid crowding the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) offices and causing disorganization. A total of 99 appointments were scheduled and 23 applications had been submitted by Tuesday afternoon, according to the Post. Among the submissions for recreational marijuana stores were applications for growing facilities and infused-products operations.

According to the Post, the first applicants arrived at MED before 9am, with "heavy boxes and bulging binders." Andy Williams, the owner of the Medicine Man medical-marijuana dispensary, was among the first to submit an application. 

"We're excited," Williams told the Post. "Some folks are afraid to be first, but we welcome it."

If all goes according to plan, Colorado’s recreational pot shops will begin to open their doors to the public on New Years Day, 2014.

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