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Legalization: Part 2 – The Marijuana Store

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DENVER, Colorado (WGGB) — Since retail marijuana hit the shelves in Colorado January first, the tax revenues have been pouring in. How does it exactly work, and how might it work if retail marijuana comes to Massachusetts?

ABC40 headed west to find the answers as part of our “Legalization” series.

At The Medicine Man, a thriving Denver dispensary and store, there is marijuana as far as the eye can see.

“We start off with mother plants, which we keep in a vegetative state,” Business Consultant of Strategy Development Elan Nelson said. “We just take a clipping off of a plant that’s already alive and flourishing.”

A series of greenhouses mimic the changing of seasons and sunlight. Plants are meticulously grown then trimmed.

“These are sent to the kitchens to make edibles, the tight trims, the smaller leaves here, which I’m cutting off will be sent downstairs to make blunt mix, to make joints,” one worker said as she snipped pieces of marijuana that had just been grown.

Before hitting shelves, the drug is dried and cured.

From start to finish until the marijuana is being cured in a jug, it’s tracked using high-tech state tagging systems.

“The state, you know, can see ‘did that plant just disappear, has that weight disappeared?'” Nelson said. “Certainly that would raise a red flag and they could come in and inspect to make sure everything is working as it should.”

From there it’s on to the store, where there are plenty of options. From straight marijuana to cookies to candy to lip balm.

“What has been the most popular?” we asked employee Jason Coleman.

“Usually, I want to ask also how you want to feel because there are two basic types: cannabis indica and cannabis sativa,” Coleman said. “Indica is more associated with body relief, a body high but that’s going to interpret the pain and might be a little lazier, might make you feel a little more tired and lazy in turn. Sativa is more of an uplifting cerebral. Happy high, relieving stress and anxiety. Bringing on a nice case of the giggles maybe.”

After focusing on a sativa plant, we were given three samples to smell and settled on the popular Ghost Train Haze, as an example.

A quarter of an ounce, the most that an out of state resident can purchase in one visit, cost $56.93. The marijuana must leave the store in a secure, tamper resistant bag. At that point, provided you have a legal property to smoke on, you are free to legally get high.

Coming up Wednesday, ABC40 examines “Legalization: The City Impact.”

Legalization Part 1: Law of the Land
Legalization Part 3: The Local Impact
Legalization Part 4: The Big Debate
Legalization Part 5: The Mass. Effect

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