On Jan. 1, 2014, recreational marijuana stores opened throughout Colorado to sell legal cannabis for the first time. Preparation for the retail market started more than a year ago, soon after Colorado and Washington voters in 2012 approved legal pot industries, however, the licenses to open for business just started to be awarded in the last couple weeks. This posed interesting logistical issues as well for the stores that did manage to get the doors open today.
The price for high-quality cannabis at some shops was around $400 an ounce. That’s about four times what smokers are paying on the black market in Colorado, according to some of the people waiting in line to be legal. Much of the extra cost was attributed to state and local taxes in excess of 25 percent.
I had a chance to venture out to a couple locations to see how this long overdue freedom was progressing.
First stop, The Clinic in South Denver. I immediately came upon a growing line of people waiting for their chance to purchase recreational cannabis. I was greeted by the general manager, Ryan Cook, who graciously explained how they have their own growing facilities and have very high standards for the medical cannabis they have been providing their medical patients. When I asked him what this day meant to him and the Clinic, he smiled and said…
Today is not about it being a party, Today historically marks the first day that people nationwide have access to the premium cannabis medicine. People with seizures, cancer, chronic pain, and many other serious illnesses or conditions can live a better life. The Clinic has always worked with the underlying drive to insure that “our patients live better”. That is and will continue to be very important to us! We are incredible proud to be part of this historic day – Ryan Cook, General Manager at The Clinic
Ryan Cook explained to me that they pride themselves on being their for the patients with education, professionalism and patience at The Clinic. Ryan showed me around the store where they had a wide variety of products including concentrates, medicated drinks, and cannabis edibles. Ryan and the staff at The Clinic Colorado were wonderful and I would recommend checking out their highly professional store, staff and beautiful medical cannabis products!
Next I headed over to Evergreen Apothecary on Broadway to see how day one of recreational sales was going. I arrived to a very long line of people, all smiling and excited to be a part of history in the making. Ralph and Heidi Morgan, the owners, had a special surprise for the first 250 customers as they had certificates made to celebrate and honor the first sales under the new law. The certificate was very well received by the hard core but patient consumers. I was lucky enough to be able to chat with them for a a little bit as they worked. Ralph Morgan’s excitement was contagious as we talked. The most memorable thing he said to me was.
I am very proud to be part of something so significant and historic and incredible proud of Colorado for being at the forefront of it all! – Ralph Morgan, Co-Owner of Evergreen Apothecary
Heidi Morgan was busy getting the patient people in line numbers to reserve there spot in history. She was wearing a huge smile and was wonderful to watch as she floated around the long line insuring that everyone knew how appreciative she was to see them all out supporting and celebrating the new law. When I asked her what was going through her head as she talked to all of the people and was getting them their certificates she became a little emotional had this to say.
When we opened four years ago on December 31, 2009 we had a trickle of people that came into the dispensary. I knew then that if we made it a year I was going to be surprised. Now today, to see what Colorado has made possible and to see all of these wonderful people supporting this law and our store is truly amazing! -Heidi Morgan, Co-Owner of Evergreen Apothecary
I was elated to be covering this historic and amazing day in Colorado! I left in the morning with mixed emotions and a feeling that I was going to be shut out of the places I visited. Even though both places were very busy I was invited into their places of Business and in true Colorado style given as much time as I needed to hear thir stories and learn about their operations! When you have time or visit Colorado please take time to check out the awesome people at The Clinic and The Evergreen Apothecary! Both stores have staff that is incredible knowledgeable and can help you find the cannabis medicine that you need no matter what ails you.
|The Clinic||Evergreen Apothecary|
|3888 E. Mexico Ave., Ste. 110Denver, CO 80210
|1568 South BroadwayDenver, CO 80210