The number of businesses that sell marijuana has jumped in Colorado, where use of pot for medical reasons has been allowed since 2000. National Public Radio reports that a mix of confusing regulations and court rulings had kept its distribution in check until this year. Now pot stores are showing up in many neighborhoods – and there are calls for more regulation.
The Obama administration has said that busting medical marijuana operations will be low on its priority list. Nobody knows how many dispensaries there are in Colorado; the best guess is about 150. There have been efforts to regulate the state’s medical marijuana industry. The state health department wanted to limit the number of patients using medical pot that a vendor could supply. It planned to adopt a rule stating that a vendor must do more than just sell pot. The rule imagined them also performing caregiving services, like accompanying patients to the doctor. Nearly all of those efforts have been unsuccessful.