10 Jan 2010

You can buy marijuana legally in Colorado

12 Comments finance and economics, local advertising

Want to know what’s one of the hottest areas in local?  Medical marijuana dispensaries.  I read in today’s Denver Post that dispensaries are popping up everywhere. The license fee is only $3,000 and there is no cap on the number of dispensaries that can open.  This land grab is a result of Amendment 20, passed a decade ago.  

So if you want Denver medical marijuana, it’s easy. You can fill out your forms online and even have your pot delivered to you.– maybe they’ll have a 30 minute guarantee to see if it can beat the Dominos guy.  And there’s even a referral program, where you earn free pot for referring friends– no limit on referrals either. I don’t see this program being a part of Commission Junction or Affiliate.com anytime soon, but you do have to consider what the economic impacts of this are.

The fact that there’s no limit in Colorado on how many dispensary licenses can be granted is in favor of the consumer– there is more competition.  However, should there be a price war, it would cause a shift in the illegal market for marijuana, forcing drug dealers to get licenses and, in effect, legalizing the sale of marijuana.  One dispensary even has a low price marijuana guarantee.  Not sure how that works– perhaps you have to bring in a coupon from a competitor or a note from the guy on the street corner?

And what about advertising?  Will all these new businesses advertise on “pot” versus “marijuana”, since most stoners can’t spell properly?  I can just imagine all the people shopping for pots and pans now seeing a sale on pot– but not getting what they expected.  It’s just like my friend who wanted to buy sporting goods at Dicks and typed in dicks.com– oops.

What’s also interesting is that the $3,000 annual license fee was set based on what they charge Denver strip clubs— which maybe says something about their feelings toward this type of business.  And the requirements for getting a license are somewhat loose– you can’t have a criminal record and also have to be of good “moral character”.  At least folks can’t open dispensaries within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare– else the city I love is quickly going to pot.

Update: In 2008, the Colorado Department of Health processed 5,000 new medical marijuana cards– and it took them 10 days to process cards.  In just this past week, they have received 1,800 applications and are now backed up to 12 weeks to process card.  It would appear that something is out of control. Are there really that many more people suffering from cancer, AIDS, or another type ailment?

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Dennis Yu is the CTO of BlitzMetrics. He is an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook marketing, having been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, and CBS Evening News. He is also a regular contributor for Adweek's SocialTimes column. Dennis has held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines. He studied Finance and Economics from Southern Methodist University and London School of Economics. Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you. You can contact him at dennis@blitzmetrics.com, his blog, or on Facebook.
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12 Responses to “You can buy marijuana legally in Colorado”

  1. Reply Tom says:

    So anyone can get a license in co for pot? I live in Ca and we have to have a doctors recommendation to get your pot license. I needa make a trip up to Co. So if someone wanted ,they could buy up a bunch of pot spots (stores) and sell as much pot as they want to, looks like now is the time to do this.

  2. Reply uberVU - social comments says:

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by digireviews: Reading: You can buy marijuana legally in Colorado http://bit.ly/8YPYmi

  3. Reply Matt Pellerin says:

    While I do not smoke, I really don’t personally perceive it as being any worse than alcohol. In fact, from what I’ve read and what documentaries (on both sides) that I’ve watched, it appears to be safer for the user and the general public than alcohol.

    Even though Colorado and other states have made it legal, Federal law still has it listed as illegal. So while the local Police may not bust you, the Feds can and will if you flaunt it in their face.

    My $0.02 for what it’s worth.

    P.S. Hi Dennis, long time no talk (face to face anyways)

  4. Reply Matt Pellerin says:

    BTW: Saw this on Twitter, so I followed the link to your blog. My first time here but I’ll be sure to bookmark it and visit you here again!

  5. Reply Keith Wilcox says:

    Something compelled me to click on that Denver Strip clubs link 🙂

    I think I’ve got a medical marijuana dispensary right down the street from me here in Boulder. I think it’s called something else. But it sounded like that’s what it was.

  6. Reply Thos003 says:

    It is soooo wrong ….. that you used the McD’s sign for that image.

  7. Reply Catherine says:

    I second the motion. Did they asked permission from Mc Donald’s for that logo?

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