Blazing cannabis trail, US states eye tourism surge

Marijuana users in Colorado and Washington are counting down the hours before the western US states become the first to legalize recreational pot shops on January 1.

A visitor from Hawaii smokes a joint as thousands gather to celebrate the state’s medicinal marijuana laws, at Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado, on April 20, 2012

 

Blazing a trail they hope will be followed in other parts of the United States, cannabis growers and others are also rubbing their hands, while tax collectors are eyeing the revenue the newly-legalized trade will generate.

Enterprising companies are even offering marijuana tours to cash in on tourists expected to be attracted to a Netherlands-style pot culture — including in Colorado’s famous ski resorts.

“Just the novelty alone is bringing people from everywhere,” said Adam Raleigh of cannabis supplier Telluride Bud Co.

“I have people driving in from Texas, Arizona, Utah… to be a part of history.

“Over the last month I have received somewhere between four to six emails a day and five to 10 phone calls a day asking all about the law and when should people plan their ski trip to go along with cannabis,” he added.

 

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