Legal marijuana: Summit County pot shops overrun with buyers on day one
March 25, 2014
On Wednesday, recreational marijuana establishments opened all across Colorado, offering for the first time legal weed to residents and visitors. Shortly after the start of "Green Wednesday" reports began to surface of long lines of people waiting to get their first taste of legal marijuana. It was no different in Summit County.
Nick Brown, owner of High Country Healing in Silverthorne, opened his doors at 10 a.m. By 3:30 p.m. he estimated more than 300 people had been through his shop.
"I'm still pinching myself right now," Brown said. "I knew it would be big, but I never thought it would be this big."
Brown estimated about half of his customers Wednesday were from out of state and waited in line for upwards of 40 minutes for their turn to enter High Country Healing. Brown also was able to steal some of the Denver market. One Front Range couple, after learning lines at Denver marijuana shops were four to five hours long, opted to make the snowy drive to Silverthorne instead, Brown said.
“I’m still pinching myself right now. I knew it would be big, but I never thought it would be this big.”
Owner, High Country Healing
"We've helped people from all over the country, all walks of life and all ages," Brown said. "It's good to see how marijuana has been desensitized across all age groups. Everyone is just really happy to be here and I think that speaks to the mentality of the cannabis culture."
Although Brown was too busy to know how much marijuana he sold, it appeared three strains were particularly popular with shoppers, including Pineapple Express, Grape Ape and Summit Sweet Skunk, which is specific to Summit County and only available at High Country Healing.
In Frisco, Dawn Mlatecek, owner of Bioenergetic Healing Center, also features three strains unique to her store, which she said she markets as one of her primary selling points. By 4 p.m., she estimated more than 200 people had visited her store.
But Mlatecek said Wednesday's rush really started much earlier than she expected. On Monday, potential customers started calling the shop to find out if she would be open for business Wednesday.
"I don't think the phone has rung this much in a year, maybe two years," Mlatecek said. "It's been ringing off the hook for three days straight."
Despite the excitement of finally embarking into a new industry and a booming first day of business, Brown said marijuana's obvious widespread appeal is going to cause him some headaches in the very near future. With restrictions on the size of grow operations and limitations on expansion in place, Brown fears it won't be long before he runs out of product to sell.
"The way things have gone today only confirms my suspicion that there is going to be a marijuana shortage in Colorado," Brown said. "The demand is exponentially higher than the supply."
For more marijuana related news, visit http://www.summitdaily.com/marijuana/.
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