Colorado is taking the next step in making it okay to deal marijuana in their state. Any adult Colorado resident can sign up for a retail marijuana business license. This is an update from their former policy of only letting medical marijuana businesses in “good standing” with the state to apply for retail licenses. 300 have applied so far, and while medical marijuana in the state, which is more firmly established, has a longer tradition, and avoids the 15 percent sales tax imposed on recreational marijuana, continues to outsell the upstart shops, making $130 million of the $200 million in sales Colorado has seen so far this year, nevertheless the recreational franchise will start to pick up, especially with the go-ahead from the state for more people to sell.
“This is an obvious next step in the development of this legal industry,” said Mason Tvert to the Huffington Post. Tvert was an integral backer of Amendment 64 which legalized marijuana use. “New craft breweries and distilleries are frequently being established in Colorado, and this is really no different. Existing marijuana businesses are demonstrating a commitment to following the laws and making this system work, and we expect new businesses to do the same. Colorado has demonstrated that regulating marijuana works.”
Eager though Tvert might sound here, and as we certainly would expect him to be, others are nevertheless wondering whether all these changes are good. Toni Fox, owner of 3D Cannabis Center in Denver said, “I’m a little nervous and concerned about the changes that are coming. Not from a retail storefront side of the business, but from the large stand-alone cultivators that are now allowed to apply for licensing to grow come October 1. Most of us retail shop owners are producing enough cannabis that we do not need to wholesale any product. Where is all this new unassigned retail cannabis going to go?”
I am supposing “give it away” is not the answer, but this is a question certain to work its way out, nevertheless, as good old capitalism has always had the canny sense to balance its business and smooth out the kinks and bumps towards expansion and competition.