At midnight on January 1, Colorado will become one of two states in the nation to open legalized retail marijuana stores. The “dot-bong era” will be messy, chaotic, and potentially lucrative—one projection has the American marijuana market growing faster than the smartphone sector in 2014. But no one knows exactly what this revamped reality will look like (and if they tell you they do, they’re probably stoned).
To make sense of it all, we’ve put together this A-to-Z guide to the legalized marijuana marketplace—from fun facts to some of the perks we can expect, as well as the hiccups, speed bumps, and setbacks we’ll most likely face as we wind our way through this more enlightened era. Colorado voters passed this law to grant our state’s adults some groundbreaking rights, and how sensibly we address the responsibilities these budding freedoms bring will reveal whether marijuana’s advocates have been clear-eyed all along—or just blowing smoke.