The start of a new year brings many changes to what is deemed illegal by the federal government and to what is considered legal, especially with the country’s first legal recreational marijuana sales in Colorado. Thousands of people are waiting in hour-long lines to buy legal marijuana from stores in Colorado. This mass production of marijuana brings many concerns.
The prices for recreational marijuana have skyrocketed after an astonishing turnout on January 1st. Initially, the cost was $59.74, including $10.46 in taxes. In other stores around Colorado, the prices have gone up to about $200 and more per ounce. Now it is said that retail marijuana will have a 25% state tax, plus the usual sales tax of 2.9%, making weed one of the most heavily taxed consumer products.”
“I think people were a little bit surprised at the price,” said Rachel Gillette, executive director of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), a national nonprofit organization looking for a way to make marijuana legal nationwide. “We are concerned about that.”
According to Time, tough regulations have many worried that high prices and demand could temporarily close stores. On opening day, several stores, including 3D Cannabis, enforced extra limits on how much recreational marijuana customers could buy. With this, many store like 3D Cannabis can guarantee to have marijuana in store until it’s time to restock.
However, the massive lines have decreased in size since January 1, 2014. This is probably due to the increase in prices and taxes, allowing stores to hold on their recreational marijuana a bit longer.
“I know businesses are trying to take it slow. Some are limiting the amount that they sell per transaction,” said Mason Tvert, the communications director at Marijuana Policy Project. “Ultimately, I haven’t heard from anyone who is actually going to sell out. I think that the rush is going to die down very quickly if it hasn’t already. So I wouldn’t be too worried about that.”