Boulder Pot Business Conversions Move Ahead

The city will soon process requests to convert medical marijuana businesses into recreational retail shops.
November 14 2013, 6:20 PM

Colorado residents can legally purchase and consume small quantities of recreational marijuana on January 1—but will suppliers be ready as soon as clock strikes 12? Boulder’s medical marijuana businesses can convert to recreational pot shops early next year, but some businesses are worried they’ll lose customers if the city doesn’t act faster.

City officials are already working on an expedited plan that would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to apply for business conversions on January 2. Still, the process could take time, Boulder’s Daily Camera reports, in part because of the massive workload that needs to be undertaken to make sure the recreational marijuana businesses are legitimate. 

To cope with the influx of new and converting businesses, the city of Boulder plans to hire a deputy licensing clerk and a marijuana coordinator to help process the applications. Current shops that want to convert but keep the same ownership and management appear to have a fast track to approval. The Camera says businesses that want to have both medical and recreational business on the same site might be able to apply for a conversion on January 21.

Under the state’s marijuana laws, recreational customers who are 21 years old or older can purchase up to one ounce at a time and will be subjected to new, higher taxes that Colorado voters approved earlier this month. Medical marijuana customers—who need a special card for purchases—must be at least 18 years old and can buy up to two ounces. Those customers will pay a regular sales tax on their purchases.

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