PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. - Marijuana dispensary owners hope to see long lines out of their stores on New Year's Day. Colorado will make history Jan. 1 as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana sales.
"I think we're gonna have a mob of people coming in," said Dave Jimenez, owner of Nature's Remedy. Jimenez worries there won't be enough marijuana to meet the demand.
Hank Borunda agrees. He owns two dispensaries in Pueblo County. "You might have to ration it to be able to accommodate everybody, cut the sales down, " he said.
Borunda opened a second dispensary in November. He expects the marijuana industry to continue growing next year.
"It's big. I mean, they're watching it nationwide. Probably worldwide- they're looking at Colorado," said Borunda, who owns The Greeneer Side.
Colorado's marijuana industry garnered national attention two weeks ago when federal agents raided dispensaries in Denver and Boulder.
"I'm glad all [the raids] happened beforehand because hopefully that stigma will die down," Jimenez said. "Hopefully from [Jan. 1] forward, we won't have issues like that."
Borunda said even though he's not breaking the law, the raids make him nervous as he prepares to sell recreational marijuana next month. "You just don't know until this gets passed federally."
Several dispensary owners in Pueblo County, including Borunda and Jimenez, are waiting to receive their retail marijuana licenses. Commissioner Sal Pace said he expects for all of those licenses to be voted on before the end of the year.