Annie Oakley's: Colorado Marijuana Dispensary Granted First Recreational License

The marijuana business is one that has been on the rise in states that have decriminalized the drug for Annie's Colorado MarijuanaAnnie's Colorado Marijuanasome time. But up until now they've only been able to cater to an elite clientele - those with licenses to purchase medical marijuana. In Colorado where the drug has been legalized, that's all about to change.

This week in Colorado the very first license in the US for a recreational marijuana business was issued. Annie's Central City Dispensary (also known as Annie Oakley's) previously operated as a medical-only pot distributor.  Annie's is owned by a dispensary called Strainwise, which owns eight pot distribution businesses in Colorado, and now that one license has been issued, they hope licenses might be issued for the whole chain.

It is believed that the marijuana industry is one of the most rapidly growing industries in the world. This is just the start for the recreational industry in the state of Colorado as more licenses applications could be approved by January 1, 2013.  Recreational marijuana dispensary licenses will only be issued to businesses that have already been operating in the medical distribution area, and that have remained in good standing with the state. According to reports, approximately 550 marijuana dispensaries fall into this category, but it has yet to be determined how many of these will actually receive licenses.

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The media has been jumping all over this story saying that Colorado has the first recreational license in the world. Of course, this isn't exactly true. After all, we've all heard about the Netherland's infamous pot coffee shops. While selling marijuana may not be their main business, as the dispensaries in Colorado appear to be so far, they do still need to be licensed to operate. There are many businesses in Amsterdam and other Netherland locations that actively sell marijuana, but according to a great summary by blogger Pegs on the Line, who aims to set the legal facts and fiction straight, licenses were issued in the 1990's and will not be again. Plus, they are also licensed to sell coffee, not just marijuana; so on a technicality, Annie's does have the world's first recreational license. 

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Pot-entrepreneur Nancy Botwin, lead character on the original Showtime series 'Weeds', would be proud to see the direction the marijuana business is going. After all, in later episodes of the series, she saw her dream of opening a recreational marijuana coffee shop chain come true. Now life is imitating art, because where else but Colorado would that revolutionary business foray occur? In real life this development has the prospect of happening a bit sooner than 'Weeds' predicted. The show's season finale took place in 2012 and it did a flash forward of approximately seven years - meaning, the deadline for a real life pot empire to beat the show is still a way's out.

At this stage, Colorado's marijuana dispensaries will only be selling the green stuff and associated products, but as the industry continues to expand and evolve that could all change as more marijuana businesses try to conquer the market. But in the meantime, Annie's has a clear advantage!

 Via: Huffington Post