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Colorado Issues First Retail Marijuana Licenses

posted 27 Dec 2013, 13:28 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 27 Dec 2013, 13:28 ]

The U.S. state of Colorado issues the country's first licenses that will allow retailers to sell marijuana for recreational purposes.

DENVER, COLORADO, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 27, 2013) (NBC) -  Beginning January 1, residents of Colorado, 21 or older, will be able to buy up to an ounce of marijuana from a state-licensed retail store for recreational use.

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In DenverColorado marijuana dispensary owners lined up at the city's license bureau to get licenses that would allow them to sell recreational marijuana.

Colorado, along with Washington, became the first U.S. state to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes last year following a voter-approved constitutional amendment in the November 2012 elections.

Only businesses already licensed to sell medical marijuana will be allowed to sell marijuana for recreational use.

Colorado residents can buy up to an ounce of pot and buyers from out of state can buy up to a quarter ounce.

Applicants picking up licenses on Friday said they were prepared and eager to welcome new customers.

"We've been training our staff, we've been training our staff on fake I.Ds because before with medical marijuana you needed a medical card and a Colorado ID - now we might be looking at IDs from all over the country, so we've been training the staff for that. We've been getting ready, working 18 hours a day, and we have five days to go and we'll be here," said Justin Jones, owner of marijuana shop Dank Colorado.

Denver issued 42 licenses to marijuana shops and growers on Friday. Almost 350 licenses have been granted so far across Colorado state.

Recreational users will not be able to use marijuana in public, drive under the influence or take it out of state.

A handful of U.S. states will enact new marijuana laws in the new year.

Oregon will become the 13th state to license and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries in the new year and Illinois will make medical marijuana available at state-run dispensaries under a four-year pilot program.