Recreational marijuana sales in Colorado started on Wednesday and potheads were lining up around the state, eager to spend their cash on a good smoke. It’s already proving to be a lucrative business with the 24 shops across the state selling $1 million worth of marijuana on the first day.
Colorado residents can buy up to an ounce of pot; non-residents can purchase up to a quarter ounce. Authorities are expecting first-year sales to reach $578 million. Sales tax revenue is expected to reach $67 million. An eighth of an ounce is about $65.
It’s not just Colorado residents who are crazy for that wacky tobacky. People are crossing state lines to get in on the action. The New York Post reports that tour companies are already offering trips across the state line, a kind of “pot tourism.” For example, Colorado Green Tours offers a tour of three dispensaries for $399, which doesn’t include any marijuana.
However, smoking in public is not permitted. So the issue is finding a place off the street where all this pot can be smoked. Most of the shops are in Denver and there are only 600 hotel rooms in the city.
So there’s not only a market for marijuana, but there are also opportunities for other industries to launch businesses and become profitable because it’s legal. There are some who oppose marijuana legalization, saying, for instance, that it encourages bad behavior. But more than half of Americans in 2013 (52 percent) told Pew Research that it should be legal, an increase from 2010. It’s expected that New York will be the next state to loosen some of the rules around marijuana.