Recreational marijuana now has an official licensed retailer in the U.S. PHOTO: Reuters
Marijuana history was made today as Annie’s, a medical marijuana dispensary, got a license from the state of Colorado that will allow them to sell pot to anyone who walks in, whether or not they have a doctor’s note. The Central City, Colorado marijuana seller is owned by Strainwise, a company with eight Colorado dispensaries. Strainwise hopes to be selling marijuana to recreational users out of all eight shops before long.
Even after Colorado and Washington State passed referenda in 2008 allowing anyone over 21 to use marijuana, the idea of someone walking into a shop and buying some pot has remained abstract. Annie’s is the first store in U.S. history to make that a reality. Marijuana will be for sale to anyone who walks in on January 1st, 2014. Annie’s was one of 136 hopeful marijuana retailers that submitted applications for a license to sell pot in Colorado. The other 135 are still awaiting word from the regulatory board.
Legal marijuana is already a big industry, but it’s going to be huge. Annie’s is likely to be very profitable, and it’s anyone’s guess how big the legal marijuana market can get. While marijuana advocates have steadily chipped away at the moral argument for maintaining marijuana prohibition, it may be the economic rewards that push marijuana into legality in more and more states. While only Colorado and Washington State have legalized marijuana so far, keep an eye on California, Oregon, Vermont and Alaska among others who are eyeing full legalization from across the dance floor. This party is only getting started.