Budding idea in Colorado as marijuana legalised
Use of up to an ounce of marijuana is now allowed in the second US state to make the move
A man holds a sign referring to Colorado legalising marijuana in state capital Denver. Photograph: Rick Wilking/Reuters
Toni Fox at her medical marijuana dispensary in Globeville, Denver
Songs from Toni Fox’s preferred Rhonda Byrne CD flowed from her silver Saturn Vue as she sped past breathtaking mountain views during her twice-weekly 2½-hour commute from home in Salida, Colorado, to her workplace in Globeville, a traditionally industrial neighbourhood in the state’s capital, Denver.
Fox’s office is a far cry from your typical open plan desk space: she owns and runs a medical marijuana dispensary, one of the many that now line Denver’s streets. A recent report by the American news programme 60 Minutes claimed that Denver currently boasts more medical pot dispensaries than it does Starbucks. And if plans for the implementation of Amendment 64 (which legalised marijuana for recreational use in the state last November) are anything to go by, many more Denver doors could embrace this so-called “green rush”.
“We will be one of the first centres to go recreational, January 1st, 2014,” Fox smiles excitedly. Standing in the large lobby of her dispensary, decorated in ski-lodge-meets-American-ranch style, Fox adds how her business, the 3D Cannabis Center, has the capacity to expand tenfold once recreational marijuana sales kick off.
“We have a licence for 1,800 plants, but we’re maxed on power and space, so we have 1,000 now,” Fox says, stepping toward the back of the lobby and into a long, dark corridor whose only source of light seeped through a glass wall on the right-hand side. Fox gestures past the glass toward the dozens and dozens of large marijuana plants on the other side.
“This is the first and only cannabis cultivation viewing corridor in the world, visitors can come here and see how we’re organic in our processing,” she says, adding how 3D Cannabis currently uses a soil-based cultivation with homemade fertiliser teas.
“We see 30 people and have about $1,000 a day in sales, but once we have the cannabis to sell, it’s more like, the sky’s the limit!”
Amendment 64 legalised use and possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for people 21 and older in Colorado. It allows marijuana to be sold in specially licensed stores set to open at the start of 2014. Voters approved the amendment last November with 55 per cent support. Since Colorado governor John Hickenlooper passed the bill, his specially appointed Marijuana Task Force has issued recommendations (iti.ms/17EdfMT) for the regulation of this budding new industry.
“I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m apprehensive, but it looks like the federal government is going to let us open,” Fox says. “This is a world-changing industry, for the better – physically, economically, socially, and medically.”