One year later: Legalizing marijuana in Colorado

By Dave Young, FOX News

DENVER -- It's been a year since recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado and with the pot shops came increased tax revenue for the state, but lawmakers are still dealing with a few hiccups.

Colorado was the first state in the country to legalize the drug.  Buyers lined up at recreational pot stores for hours at the beginning of the year.

"I think when you look at it in terms of history, this is historic," said Elan Nelson, a consultant for Medicine Man Denver.

People across the country are heading to Denver.

"They gave us this number and told us to come back today and now we're in the fast track line to get in," said Jamal Hall, a buyer.

It put the pot debate in the global spotlight.

"People are excited about access to legal cannabis and I anticipate that's going to be the case moving forward.. there's no issues with medical marijuana and the sky didn't fall.. there's not going to be issues with retail marijuana either," said Tim Cullen, co-owner of the Evergreen Apothecary.

But issues continue to surface, like how to regulate edible pot products connected to at least two deaths; dangers of extracting hash oil, which has caused dozens of fires -- now being tested in the courts; and neighboring states have sued Colorado as pot pours across their borders.

"I wanted to make sure that we saw this the whole way through I not only supported it but then worked on the laws that actually allowed these businesses to open up," said Rep. Jonathan Singer.

Half a dozen states are using Colorado as the blueprint for pot, even as lawmakers plan revisions to pot laws.

Protecting the cash-only shops remains a constant challenge.  As banks continue to shun the Federally illegal business and predictions of profits from recreational sales fell far short of many predictions.

Still bringing in a respectable $43 million in taxes to the state by October and making many owners rich.

Lawmakers in Denver plan on trying to fix the remaining regulation problem this year.
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