Marijuana in California and Colorado: Highs and laws


It’s an emergency

HISTORICALLY, Colorado’s economic booms came in metallic colours—gold, silver and uranium silvery-grey. But nowadays it is agricultural-green and sweeter-smelling. The reason is a well-established and regulated medical marijuana market, probably the most sophisticated in America with nearly 128,000 card-carrying patients, 730 shops and 1,100 cultivators, a third of which are in Denver alone. For Jessica LeRoux, owner of Twirling Hippy Confections, it means a decent living making pot-infused cheesecakes with varieties like “Chocolate Euphoria” and “January Hot Toddy”. Other pot entrepreneurs, meanwhile, are making millions and have a group of slick lobbyists. One alternative newspaper in Denver has a pot shop reviewer.

While it is allowed in some form in 16 states and Washington, DC, Colorado is the leader in trying to make medicinal pot a legitimate business. It has been legal since a voter-approved amendment to the state constitution in 2000, but the for-profit side only took off two years ago after the legislature allowed individual counties and towns more flexibility in interpreting the rules. Over a hundred have done so.

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