Ohio To Vote On Legalizing Pot, Looks To See The Future In Colorado


If Ohio voters pass Issue 3 next month and legalize marijuana, the future will most likely arrive in a fancy shopping bag, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. The bags from the Native Roots store in downtown Denver are impressive. Made from stiff gift-box cardboard, with shoelace-grade handles, the bag sports a quirky black and white design of little line drawings of flowers and words in different typefaces. The fact that a store would send off its customers with a high-end paper bag shows that the once-outlawed marijuana is fast becoming an aspirational consumer good. The bag's sophistication also shows that the business of marijuana is changing, from a combination of state government regulation and industry's eager cooperation. Legal-marijuana business owners know that Ohio, and the country, are watching. A new Gallup survey says 58 percent of Americans favor legalizing pot, tying a recent high point in such support.

In a vast Colorado industrial park, there’s a building with two huge green crosses and a sign: Medicine Man. Inside, take in the aroma of citrus, the smell of flowering marijuana. A tall, slender young security officer, armed with a Taser, checks photo IDs. To the left was about 20 feet of retail space, and to the right, the medicine shop. At the recreational counter, Ian Azzam explains that all of Medicine Man's marijuana is grown right on the premises. Loose buds, about $160 an ounce plus tax, are only one item in stock. The discerning shopper can also select a $60 gram of resin, which is marijuana’s psychoactive material separated from the plant. Smoking it requires a special rig, but resin produces “a very clean high,” Azzam observes. A single joint is $10 on the recreational side, $5 on the medical side, which seems pricey, but the marijuana contains 24.83 percent of the psychoactive ingredient THC, an intense concentration.

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