Pubdate: Wed, 01 Oct 2014
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2014 The Denver Post Corp
Author: John Ingold
Page: 6A


Colorado embarks on a new era for its legal recreational marijuana 
industry Wednesday, when two major changes will affect the industry's makeup.

The first is the entrance of newcomers to the industry. Colorado 
regulators gave people who already owned a licensed medical-marijuana 
business a nine-month head start in opening recreational pot shops. 
Wednesday is the first day people who didn't previously own a 
medical-marijuana store can get into the recreational industry.

Tuesday, the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division said it has 
issued licenses to 46 stores, 37 marijuana-cultivation facilities and 
13 marijuana-infused products makers that allow them to start 
operating Wednesday.

Before opening, each business must obtain approval from its local 
government. Because the Marijuana Enforcement Division did not 
release the cities in which the new businesses are located, it is 
unclear if any have obtained local approval.

Natriece Bryant, a spokeswoman for the division, said not all of the 
businesses are owned by industry newcomers. Some may be new ventures 
by existing medical marijuana business owners.

There are currently about 240 recreational marijuana stores in 
Colorado, according to state tallies.

The second change to hit Wednesday involves the industry structure. 
Previously, recreational marijuana stores had to grow most of what they sold.

On Wednesday, stores and growers can split up, becoming standalone 
shops and independent wholesale growers.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom