More than fifty recreational pot shops now open in Colorado, says industry rep
Today marks one week since the launch of recreational marijuana sales in Colorado, and despite the concerns voiced by pot-legalization critics, the state appears to be surviving just fine.
More photos below.
Meanwhile, the expansion of the recreational cannabis biz continues apace. According to one industry representative, more than fifty are now open statewide, with more expected to start operating in the coming days.
"Everybody's just done a really good job of doing their job," says Betty Aldworth, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. "When it comes to consumers, regulators, officials, businesses, it's hard to imagine this roll out going better."
Indeed, Aldworth estimates that shops statewide registered sales of at least $1 million on January 1, when 37 of them began serving customers, with more than $5 million being collected by day five. She adds that "well over fifty" recreational stores were thought to have been operational as of yesterday, "and more will open this week. We've had stores opening every weekday, and that's continuing."
Aldworth acknowledges "issues with shortages and some concern about pricing," but she believes "that's going to work itself out in the next weeks and months. I'm not concerned about those things long-term."
"Having more stores opening and more places where folks can go will only help," she believes. "And we're also getting past that first handful of days, where the novelty was really important to people. We did some casual surveys of people in line, and about half of them had cannabis at home, so they didn't have to run to the store. But they wanted to participate in making history.
"I think there were a fair number of people who went out in the last week just because they were so excited about celebrating the end of marijuana prohibition in this one, specific way."
As for pricing, Aldworth says she's visited assorted shop websites in recent days, "and it does look like prices have gone up to some degree -- but that's to be expected. The demand has been incredibly strong, and that's part of balancing the supply and demand -- making sure that the supplies can be stretched to meet the remarkably strong demand in the market right now. But we expect the prices to come down to some degree -- not to where medical prices are, probably, but the market tends to work itself out when it comes to this sort of thing."
A cash register at a marijuana shop, from a 7News report.
Continue for more of our interview with Betty Aldworth about the first week of recreational marijuana sales in Colorado.