DENVER — Just beyond the Rocky Mountains, an industry that once conjured images of dank basements and back-alley deals is blossoming under state regulation.
After a sluggish start in sales following the 2012 vote to decriminalize marijuana, Colorado’s pot trade — and corresponding tax revenue — is booming as consumers from within and outside the state flock to cannabis shops.
Some predictions made during the campaign by legalization supporters have proved true: Fewer people are being arrested. And despite initial fears that legalization would cause a rampant increase in drug use among Colorado’s youth, teens aren’t smoking more weed, according to the state Department of Public Health and Environment.
But Colorado’s first-in-the-nation dive into a legal pot market also has come with unanticipated problems and failed predictions: