Before the retail marijuana movement, Nick Brown, owner of High Country Healing in Silverthorne, said on his busiest days anywhere between 85 and 90 people would visit his medical marijuana dispensary.
Yesterday, the first day for recreational marijuana sales in Colorado, more than 500 people purchased a total of four pounds of marijuana from High Country Healing.
Brian Rogers, co-owner of Breckenridge Cannabis Club, had a similar opening day, selling “several” pounds of marijuana to more than 1,500 customers. Day one sales of recreational marijuana exceeded medical marijuana sales for the entire month of December 2013, Rogers said.
And they’re still coming.
“The demand for recreational marijuana is about 30 times higher than it is for medical marijuana,” Rogers said. “We have a fresh group of people coming in and I have a line going out the door. A lot of people told me they came here instead of Utah or Wyoming because you can buy marijuana and ski in the same place.”
By midday Thursday, Rogers said he was pacing to do about 75 percent of the business he had on opening day. At 2 p.m., Brown said his headcount was more than 150 people and the foot traffic was steady all day.
“We learned yesterday that our procedures needed some improvement,” he said. “It hasn’t been as hectic, but we’re also moving people in and out of the retail shop more efficiently.”
Eventually business is going to slow, but Brown doesn’t think that is going to happen for several months. With Summit County now officially in the midst of the winter tourism season, Brown expects to see 100 daily visitors walk through his shop and much more around President’s Day, Martin Luther King Day and during Spring Break.
“This is world news and people are excited,” Brown said. “I think we’re going to see a lot of people in that senior year of college age pick Colorado over other destinations because marijuana is legal. It’s going to be good for the culture, for tourism and for our ski resorts.”