Nov 12, 2012 7:13 PM by Matt Stafford

Timeline of road ahead for marijuana industry

There have been lots of questions as to when people will be able to buy marijuana at stores, after passing Amendment 64.

"I was really worried; I came down here, I was like, 'what's going to happen,'" says Keith Powell, a medical marijuana patient He says no matter what happens with Amendment 64, he's staying that way. However, with marijuana legalization, and reaction from the Federal government still unseen, Powell doesn't even want to think about what would happen if everything were taken off the table -- medical included.

Store owners, like Tom McMenamin, feel the same way.

"I'm nervous about this," says McMenamin, co-owner Levity Wellness, but he says he is interested to see how everything shakes out.

McMenamin, and others in similar spot, paid thousands of dollars to meet requirements to be in business on the medical side. Now what about recreational sales?

"I have a lot of questions," says McMenamin.

"It's a massive amount of risk," says KC Stark, talking about what business owners getting into the marijuana industry face.

Stark helps marijuana businesses get going through the Medical Marijuana Business Academy; he's helping them navigate through Amendment 64.

"The idea is to make sure we take advantage of that without causing damage to our own cause," explains Stark.

Even with the risk on the road ahead, there's a reward side as well.

"I believe, anyways, that there's a lot of investors waiting in the wings," explains McMenamin. He says they're just waiting for the "okay"; most people think that's a ways away, but they want to be ready for when it comes.

As far as a timeline of the process of working out Amendment 64 is concerned, there's a lot still up in the air, but the first day people are looking for is in January when the election results are supposed to be certified. That would make it legal for people over 21 years old to possess marijuana, but it wouldn't set up the framework for sales. From then until October 2013, Stark says the State Legislature and local governments will work out their own regulations. Whatever is passed in those sessions could be put into law in January of 2014, and that's when businesses might be in a position to open for recreational sales.

However, a lot of this comes down to the federal government; they could make a call that throws that whole timeline out the window.



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