Medical Marijuana: Will Colorado's "green rush" last?

Denver, Colo., has more medical pot dispensaries than Starbucks, but the budding business, legal in 17 states, defies federal laws

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Ean Seeb: We did. In 2009. And our Biodiesel won five out of the six categories and first place. So we won the overall award. It was a sweeping victory, if you will. And then we put--

Steve Kroft: Biodiesel?

Ean Seeb: Yeah. I--

Steve Kroft: That's the name of it?

Ean Seeb: Yes, it is. And it's become--

Steve Kroft: Doesn't sound like medicine. (laugh)

Ean Seeb: There's a lot of strains out there that don't sound like medicine because this didn't used to be legal. And those strain names have not changed. You know, strains back in the '70s. You know, there was Afghani that we still have, AK-47 that came from the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan originally.

But it's not all brand loyalty and nostalgia. There are lots of new things on the dispensary shelf, especially for non-smokers. They're called edibles, the marriage of botanical science and the culinary arts: marijuana infused cookies, candy, chocolate truffles, even olive oil. And for patients watching their waistline, there are marijuana pills that come in different strengths, just like Tylenol and Advil.

Carrie: You simply take it with a glass of water and it puts you where you need to be.

The people who have invested money in all of this are known locally as ganjapreneurs. Colorado has had a history of gold rushes and silver rushes, and some people have dubbed this the green rush, not just for the color of medical marijuana, but for the money that might eventually be made here if you are among the first to stake a claim.

Kristi Kelly was doing marketing in Washington, when she decided to invest in a medical marijuana dispensary.

Kristi Kelly: There's not a lot of opportunities in any one lifetime where you can be a part of something from such an early stage. And so, ultimately, my partners begged me to come out. And my husband and I packed up our bags and shut down our life in DC and moved out here.

Tripp Keber: The company's evolution has been fairly dynamic.

Tripp Keber is CEO of Dixie Elixirs, the leading manufacturer of cannabis-laced edibles. It supplies most of the state's 537 dispensaries from this factory, which he calls state of the art for the industry, which means small scale.

Tripp Keber: So here we have Lexi, who is one of our production specialists. She's preparing our medicated chocolate rolls, which are certainly one of our most popular edibles products.

Steve Kroft: Smells really good. It looks good.

Female voice: Thank you. (laugh)

Dixie Elixir's product line includes ice creams and medicated beverages that come in 10 different flavors.

Tripp Keber: We have a 75-milligram, 12-ounce sparkling red currant, would be the equivalent of four or five doses of medicine for a patient.

Steve Kroft: What would happen to me if I drank one of these?

Tripp Keber: You would have a very long, but mellow afternoon. (laughter)

Keber and his partners have poured a million dollars into this business, and have also pioneered edible products and capsules they say contain all of the medicinal benefits of marijuana, but without the high.