DENVER (CNN) – Colorado is the first in the world to launch the grand experiment, as buyers lined up at recreational pot stores for hours last January first.
“I think when you look at it in terms of history, this is historic,” said Elan Nelson.
People drawn to Denver nationwide.
“They gave us this number and told us to come back today and now we’re in the fast track line to get in,” said Jamal Hall, a buyer.
Putting the pot debate in the global spotlight.
“People are excited about access to legal cannabis, and I anticipate that’s going to be the case moving forward. There’s no issues with medical marijuana and the sky didn’t fall. There’s not going to be issues with retail marijuana either,” said Tim Cullen of the Evergreen Apothecary.
However, issues continue to surface. Like how to regulate edible pot products connected to at least two deaths, dangerously extracting hash oil, which has caused dozens of fires, now being tested in the courts.
Neighboring states have sued Colorado as pot pours across their borders.
“I wanted to make sure that we saw this the whole way through. I not only supported it, but then worked on the laws that actually allowed these businesses to open up,” said Rep. Jonathan Singer.
Half a dozen states are using Colorado as the blueprint for pot, even as lawmakers plan revisions to pot laws.
“We will continue to do what we need to make sure that we have a very robust regulatory system,” said Executive Director Barbara Brohl, CO Department of Revenue.
Protecting the cash-only shops remains a constant challenge, as banks continue to shun the federally illegal business.
And predictions of profits from recreational sales fell far short of many predictions.
Still bringing in a respectable $43-million in taxes to the state by October and making many owners rich.
It’s well known now that Denver has more of these pot shops than Starbucks, and as lawmakers try to figure out how to fix some of the bugs for 2015 this one, where people lined up for more than three hours last year, was closed Thursday. And the owner’s already opened several more.