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Sep 3, 2013 7:28 PM by Zach Thaxton

Recreational pot bans benefit some MMJ shops

The medical marijuana industry may be an ironic benefactor of Colorado municipalities' decisions to opt out of allowing cultivation and retail sales of recreational marijuana. When Amendment 64 passed in November, legalizing the possession, use, cultivation, and sale of recreational marijuana across Colorado, many assumed that the medical marijuana industry would be crippled by the convenience of being able to walk into an establishment and buy a small amount of pot.  However, as a rapidly-growing number of Colorado cities and counties elect to ban recreational marijuana activity, or at least impose moratoriums delaying any decision on recreational marijuana, medical marijuana shops' futures are more secure. Many medical marijuana facilities had planned to exercise the option to convert to recreational sales, but with that option off the table for MMJ facilities in most communities, the security of remaining medical is appealing.  That, combined with the likelihood that retail recreational marijuana sales will be taxed at a rate potentially as high as 30 percent, are turning some medical marijuana operations off to the notion of converting.  Others, however, say the demand for legal purchase of recreational marijuana will outweigh any hesitation related to high taxation.  "This is what Colorado voters have voted in and they still should be able to have that chance," said Rocky Mountain Miracles manager Amanda Thompson, "even if they are having to pay a higher tax to be able to purchase recreational."  Thompson says Rocky Mountain Miracles would likely incorporate both medical and recreational marijuana if Colorado Springs were to ever opt in.  "If that is the only way that you can purchase cannabis legally, I know that there's people out there that would be willing to pay the higher tax."

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