Colorado legalized the sale and consumption of recreational marijuana nearly a week ago after being available for medical users for over a year. Across the state, some 136 stores have been issued licenses to sell recreational marijuana with another 22 applications pending, although just 40 are estimated to be operational, according to officials cited by CS Monitor.
Consumers have been flocking in greater numbers than many expected, too. Some stores have reported seeing four times the average number of medical customers following the legalization with lines that are at least an hour long in Denver. This demand is higher than many businesses expected, which could lead to some supply issues down the road if lines don’t abate.
Despite these long lines and large number of permits, the Denver police department has written just four marijuana citations with no major incidents, according to a spokesperson. The success in avoiding these incidents is partly due to efforts by marijuana businesses to remind consumers to use the drug only after returning home and to avoid operating machinery when impaired.
The success in Colorado will be closely watched by the nation and the world, as the first government entity to officially legalize and implement recreational marijuana laws.