DENVER (CBS4) – Denver started handing out licenses for businesses to sell recreational marijuana on Friday.
By Friday Evening, 14 businesses had picked up the licenses and the city had 44 ready to go, as long as those businesses all pass their state background checks and financial inspections.
Store owners said they are looking forward to the first sales next Wednesday.
“Challenging, but i think it’s going to be rewarding getting the licenses taken care of seeing where the industry grows from here,” said marijuana retailer Shawn Phillips.
“Jan. 1 will be an even more historic day than today because we will actually end the prohibition of marijuana,” said retailer Justin Jones.
But Jones is not certain just how many customers to expect.
“Anywhere between five to 5,000 people, that’s kind of how we’re viewing it,” he explained. “We don’t know, we hope that … people will come and shop, be cool and have a good time.”
Randy Hadden-Good is a marijuana wholesaler is also looking forward to opening day.
“This has definitely been a fun ride,” he said. “It’s been history in the making. … We’ve gone from being able to help people to knowing they can have a little bit of fun, too, in my opinion.”
But getting to the end of the ride has been tough. The hoops and inspections also include making sure stores comply with all business codes.
Sellers also have to post signs like those you see in liquor stores regarding the sale and consumption. In this case, those signs remind consumers it’s illegal to consume marijuana in public or take it across the Colorado state lines.
While the exact future of recreational marijuana sales is uncertain, the entire business is counting on getting all the investment back and seeing how the future of the industry unfolds.
“It’s like selling liquor after Prohibition,” said retailer Donald Andrews. “Who knows what is going to happen.”