PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. - A recreational pot seller said Tuesday there are high times ahead for Colorado as retailers prepare to open their doors to recreational marijuana buyers.
Hank Borunda owns The Greener Side in Pueblo County. He said the state is about to make history and he's about to make more money.
"It's all coming together," said Borunda. "It's almost there."
Under Amendment 64, people 21 and over can have up to 1 ounce of weed and six plants. Starting Wednesday, people 21 and older will also be able to purchase recreational marijuana.
There are three pot shops in Pueblo County approved to sell recreational marijuana. Marisol Therapeutics and the Greener Side will open their doors to recreational pot buyers Wednesday. Pueblo West Organics needs more time to get ready.
Borunda said he's at the forefront of a budding new industry. He's almost ready for opening day, but he's waiting on a key piece.
The state Marijuana Enforcement Division, the MED, said its seed-to-sale inventory tracking system isn't ready. New radio-frequency indentification tags used to track marijuana plants will not make it in time.
"It's just coming down to the wire and a lot of these places still don't have their tags, and as of Jan. 1, they will kind of be out of compliance," said Borunda.
The MED said bad weather and holiday shipping delays are to blame for the delay in identification tags. The MED reports it has developed alternative procedures to allow marijuana businesses to start operating Wednesday.
Borunda said retailers want to follow rules to a "T."
"This is, like, uncharted territory. We want to be able to show everyone that we are doing it right," said Borunda.
About $300 million dollars of medical marijuana was sold statewide in 2013. The industry expects sales to more than double in the next year. Borunda said the future looks hazy, but green.
"Two percent of Colorado has cards, so that opens us up to a lot more people with recreational marijuana," said Borunda. "I think it's definitely going to bring in a lot of money."
The Greener Side is building a larger greenhouse specifically catered to growing marijuana to keep up with demand.
Borunda doesn't know what crowds to expect. He said a new chapter in Colorado history begins Wednesday.