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Marijuana legalized for recreational use: business about to boom

(Business News) Marijuana legalized in Colorado could not only lead to a second wave of high tax revenue and booming business, potentially setting the stage for other states to follow.

denver legal pot

denver legal pot

Last year, we speculated that legalized marijuana (for medicinal use) would be a budding new investment goldmine, but in one part of America, a new business is poised to explode come January – recreational marijuana retail sales.

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As the first location in America to do so, Denver Colorado’s Department of Excise and Licenses has issued over 40 retail licenses to cannabis growers and retailers who may legally begin selling marijuana for recreational use to anyone over the age of 21. Residents may begin buying and lighting up on January 1, 2014.

Who can buy and how much can be purchased?

The state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division has approved a total of 348 retail licenses but only 40 will be cleared to open at the first of the year due to local licensing requirements, but the several hundred remaining licenses could potentially be cleared in the first half of the year.

Purchases will be limited to a single ounce for Colorado residents with proper ID, which could cost over $200, and non-residents may purchase up to a quarter ounce. Recreational retailers will be separated from medicinal dispensaries which will still require a physician’s recommendation.

Can’t smoke in public, you can get fired and pulled over for DUI

Due to the Clean Indoor Air Act, marijuana may not be smoked in any public place, including dispensaries, limiting use to private properties only.

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The caveat to all of the legalized marijuana is that employers in Colorado do not have to allow recreational marijuana use, and may legally set their own drug policy, including restrictions against alcohol use on and off premises. Drug testing may still be performed in the state, and smoking marijuana, whether legally purchased or not, may still be a fireable offense.

Additionally, smoking and driving is not without consequence, as drivers will be ticketed if their blood presents over five nanograms of active THC, an amount that can show up for several hours after smoking, according to NORML.org whose local chapter has published a list of retailers and a “Responsible Consumer’s Guide to Marijuana in Colorado.”

Will other states follow suit?

Colorado has been one of the leaders in the nation for legalizing pot, and it is no surprise that Denver is home of the first recreational retail licenses. It doesn’t appear that other states or even cities will immediately be following suit, but with an increasing number of states softening laws around medicinal use, retail could potentially follow.

Watch for the cash to roll in, businesses to flourish, and tax rolls skyrocket. The pot business is about to have a second boom.

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Written By

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

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