DENVER -- There has been a line outside Evergreen Apothecary in Denver every day since Jan. 1, when Colorado became the first state in the nation to allow the legal sale of recreational marijuana.
Owner Tim Cullen used to sell
marijuana for medical purposes only.
The marijuana boom is creating jobs.
"I can't hire people fast enough," Cullen said.
Demand has been so strong that the price of pot has doubled to $400 an ounce. Supply is limited because the 40 licensed stores must grow their own supply.
"As more stores are licensed, I anticipate prices will drop," Cullen said.
A third of sales at Evergreen have
been to people from out of state, even though they cannot buy more than a
half-ounce, or take it across state lines.
"First legal marijuana I've bought in my life and I can't wait for it to go nationwide," he said.
Denver Councilman Charlie Brown was against legalizing marijuana sales for recreational use. He's now part of the group writing new rules for the city’s growth industry.
"I was fearful of shall we say, cannabis chaos, but that didn't turn out," Brown said. "It was really a marijuana milestone but the concerns are still there, especially to our young people."
He wants part of the tax revenue from sales to fund anti-drug programs.
Police in Colorado and neighboring states report no significant increase in marijuana-related offenses or trafficking. But critics say one week is not enough time to assess the full impact of the new law.
At least 130 more shops are waiting for permits to open.