Colorado Starts Legal Recreational Marijuana Sales

What a way to ring in 2014. It is now officially legal for certain shops in Colorado to begin selling marijuana for recreational use. About 30 stores in the state offered joints and buds to welcoming customers as early as 8 a.m. MT. Even though more than 130 stores received licenses last week, most haven't been approved by their local governments yet. Eighteen of the shops are located in Denver, and towns can vote on banning any dispensaries in their communities.

Amid hazy clouds of smoke, eager customers lined up to secure their pot purchases at 8 a.m. on the dot. In-state buyers who are 21 years of age or older are limited to one ounce — which can add to at least $200 — and people from out of state can purchase up to a quarter ounce.

Pot can only be smoked on private properties with the owner's go-ahead, so don't go lighting up all willy-nilly in the street. Denver International Airport banned all marijuana, since officials were concerned the law would prompt confusion and could lead to pot being brought over state lines.

The Denver Post's "Cannabist" live blog followed the scene outside of the pot dispensaries. The cost of the first sale was $59.74, with tax. Others coughed up $100 for an eighth, two joints and edible marijuana.

Even though Colorado voted for legalized recreational pot in 2012 — along with Washington — strict regulations were only established recently. And there are still some issues, like what constitutes high driving and the effects of marijuana tourism, that'll need to be ironed out. Despite all the attention, some people were still caught off-guard.

If you are a Colorado resident and would like to imbibe in the marijuana festivities — or make some cannabis-laced cupcakes — here's a handy list of open pot shops.