I am sure you have heard the news about Colorado.
According to the BBC headlines, “Cannabis goes on legal sale in US state of Colorado”.
Colorado is making history and now attracting more than skiers as the Rocky Mountain state becomes the first jurisdiction in the world to allow the sale of Cannabis for recreational use. Since the 1970’s, the Netherlands has allowed small amounts of marijuana to be sold and consumed in “coffee shops”, but it has never formally legalized the sale and cultivation of Cannabis.
In Colorado, every aspect of the industry will be highly regulated and taxed. Colorado has issued 348 recreational pot licenses, comprising 136 for retail stores (most located in Denver), 178 for cultivation, 31 for infused edibles and other spin-off products, and three for testing. The product will only be sold in state-licensed venues, in a system similar to that used by most countries for alcohol regulation. Each plant clipping must be tagged with a unique serial number as it flowers and is harvested, weighed, dried, trimmed, packaged and transported. Stores must record each sale and have a set number of cameras with certain pixelation, among other security requirements. State officials have said they expect sales to raise millions – the first $40m of which will be used for school construction.
Due to an administrative backlog only about 40 stores were expected to open for business on January 1st. According to all accounts, the first day went smoothly and without incident despite the long lines of customers, as many as 300 at a time, willing to wait outside in freezing temperatures to be part of this historic event. Colorado residents will be able to buy up to one ounce of Cannabis while those from out of the state can purchase up to a quarter of an ounce.
Both supporters and opponents of Colorado’s initiative agree that this could be a landmark challenge to decades of “drug war” dogma. The world is watching. Will this embolden other states to follow suit? Could this potentially herald a shift as radical as the end of alcohol prohibition in 1933?
Interesting times are ahead as we adjust to this new reality and the new challenges it will bring. Keep in mind if you are visiting Colorado to purchase and use recreational Marijuana, that the sale, use, and transport of Marijuana is still a Federal crime and even in Colorado it is illegal to smoke in public places. Cannabis can only be smoked on private premises, with the permission of the owners.
What does this mean for guests at Velma’s Guest House? The “new tourist” will be welcome at all 3 of my homes, “Velma’s Guest House”, “Velma’s Too”, and “Velma’s Cottage in the City”. However, the “very brief policy” will remain unchanged. Velma’s is not a party house! Disturbing the neighbors or smoking inside will result in automatic full loss of the security deposit. All of my homes have private back yards which responsible guests are welcome to use for this purpose.