Colorado Pot Shops Rake in More Than $1M Statewide

Recreational marijuana a major hit with brisk sales in first three days since legalization.

Photo Credit: Tomasz Bidermann / Shutterstock.com

Pot shop owners say they have collectively made more than a million dollars statewide since 1st January, 9 News reported.

Thousands braved freezing temperatures and hour-long lines to be among the first Americans to buy legal recreational marijuana across some 24 stores in Colorado this week, most of them in Denver.

"It's a huge deal for me," Andre Barr, a 34-year-old deliveryman who drove from Michigan to be part of the legal weed experiment told 9 News. "This wait is nothing."

By all accounts, the roll-out of the nation’s first legal recreational pot shops was a success with very few hiccups.

"Everything's gone pretty smoothly," said Barbara Brohl, of Colorado’s Department of Revenue.

Still, opponents of legalization watched closely warning of the masked “dangerous consequences,” such as greater illegal use by youth. Such concerns served as a reminder that 45 percent of Colorado voted against Amendment 64.

Nonetheless, state regulators were diligent this week checking IDs in a bid to ensure no one under 21 was able to buy marijuana – the legal age to purchase the drug.

As for the rest of the year, the state estimates that pot shops could make almost $600 million with taxes alone bringing in $67 million in revenue, the majority of which will be set aside for building schools.

Colorado is the first U.S. state to implement a fully legal marijuana industry with no doctor’s note required.  The country of Uruguay has also fully legalized pot but has yet to set up its system.  

Read more.

For a weekly roundup of news and developments in the drug reform movement and the injustices stemming from prohibition, sign up to receive AlterNet's Drugs Newsletter here. Make sure to scroll down to "Drugs" and subscribe! 

Don't let big tech control what news you see. Get more stories like this in your inbox, every day.

Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.