Since the last election, both the states of Colorado and Washington have scrambled to prepare the implementation of the will of the people: “We want our pot for recreational purposes!”
The gatherings and chats among the many parties have been warm and reasonable, according to most reports, but many underlying issues are raising questions about points of contention in both states. The state governments are working with local folks to address an historical wrong, as many Coloradans and Washingtonians view the “mislabeling of a weed” as an infringement on a right.
Washington plans to allow a total of 334 legal pot storefronts, but several towns have preliminarily opted out of the sale of pot. The Evergreen state plans to include sale of pot leaf, hash, oils and foods. Feedback from the community and federal guidelines keep officials on a 'straight and narrow' path to delivering legal buds to those who want to smoke them up. Although the state does not intend to set prices, it has in place a 25% tax on products. According to the best guess, pot will sell for roughly $10 - $12 per gram, but the market will decide the final prices.
In a recent announcement, Colorado has set the first working rules for their state with these 10 major points.
- Ante up: Colorado will get between $2750 and $14,000 for a shop license.
- Grow your own: Until October of 2014, shops must grow most of what they sell.
- Tracers: Sellers track and document all product from cultivation to harvest and sale.
- Security: All businesses must follow security requirements, including surveillance.
- Child-Safe Packaging: Kid-proof packaging is mandatory before product leaves store.
- Label: Itemizes any non-organic pesticides or fungicides. Also includes potency of pot.
- No Marketing to minors: Reasonable and practical limitations in media outlets.
- Transparency to Marijuana Enforcement Division and access to audits and inspections anytime.
- Checks of Backgrounds for felonies, ties to criminal elements.
- Limits for purchasers and Growers: Adults can legally grow 6 plants or buy an ounce of legal pot in stores. Medical marijuana patients can buy 2 ounces. Out-of-state customers can purchase only ¼ ounce at a time, but may have an entire ounce while they are here, but cannot take it home.
Denver anticipates an official Grand Opening of legal pot in January, 2014, while Washington plans to hand their growers an advanced date of December 1, 2013, as a start date to begin cultivation. At present the standards mirror Colorado in most details – one ounce, age 21, etc. Washington recently chose to allow its growers to start with mature plants, giving them a slight ‘time edge’ over Colorado growers. The first pot sale in Washington may occur in March or April of 2014.
With many other countries beginning to address this cannabis issue, Israel is the latest to announce plans to legalize and sell pot as a means of both revenue and elimination of gang-related criminal activities.