Recreational Marijuana Business Model: Colorado Entrepreneurs Search For That Perfect Hybrid


As Colorado is quickly finding out, there is a fine line between the new recreational-marijuana laws and outright criminal activity. As the gray area continually grows, many are uncertain exactly what’s legal and what’s going to get you into some serious trouble with the local authorities.

Driven by the theory that if something’s not forbidden then it’s allowed, entrepreneurs are doing all they can to perpetuate the cultivation of Colorado’s green rush.

This is the creative space that many Colorado entrepreneurs are occupying, filling the void of law with the reality of action and making money in that undefined space. The ever creative free-market approach to any new law, is to search out and find the best loophole, then identify the business model that best services it… specifically Colorado’s new recreational marijuana law states that an individual can transfer up to an 1 Oz. of weed to someone else, provided it’s free.

As the new economy takes hold in Colorado many are seizing the opportunity…leading to ads like this in many mile high communities.

“Why waste your time and energy driving to and dealing with a dispensary when you can just call us and have your bud delivered directly to you?” Questions a January post from its Facebook page, which is littered of offers like $45 quarter-ounces of OG Kush. “You could be getting high right now,” exclaims another. “Call or text and get some chronic delivered, for crying out loud.”


Your weed is free your pizza is $60 bucks

Your weed is free your pizza is $60 bucks

Sure – the pot itself is free, not the pizza pie…or whatever their delivering. We know the routine – payments are structured as “suggested donations towards researching marijuana genetics and improving our cultivation operation,” explains a Colorado Springs business owner. (Reasonable to say it’s a relatively robust recommendation: should you choose not to “donate,” the delivery person doesn’t hand over your order.)

A Colorado husband-and-wife team in their late 30’s explain it this way…

“If I show up at your house with less than an ounce of marijuana, I’m 21, you’re 21, and I say, ‘Hey dude, it cost me 50 bucks in gas to get over here,’ and you give me 50 bucks for my gas, there’s nothing illegal,” says Lt. Mark Comte with the Metro Vice, Narcotics and Intelligence Division. “I mean, you and I both know what’s going on with it, but they know what the loopholes are right now.” Source

Brian Vicente, a Denver attorney and co-author of Amendment 64, says, regardless, anyone in the gray should play it safe. “If they are operating in this area, there’s some legal backing for it, but it’s not black-and-white clearly legal,” he says. “But what is clearly illegal is for you to sell me a joint. So if it is looking like a sale, people need to be concerned.”

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  1. As a Californian, I worried about the same thing when our physical dispensaries went away. If one doesn’t like the delivery or product, either accept it, reject it, or try again. There will always be other delivery companies to choose from. Legalization for recreational is no different than medicinal. If one gets ripped off, don’t do business with them. It’s that simple.

    I suggest making a larger purchase to make their delivery worth while, and if ordering a small amount, consider giving tips to the budtender/driver as it can help cover their gas and wear and tear on their vehicle. Not all owners pay their delivery persons enough.

  2. how about a voluntary tax stamp system like we use with liquor and cigarettes, personal use or cultivations is untaxed until it is sold. then it is a crime to not have a tax stamp, which is voluntarily purchased. this has been done in many states but no one ever took the states up on it because of fear of arrest. things are changing. we should lead the way and set our own tax laws since that is obviously going to happen to any medicine that is sold. what do you think?

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    the article!I appreciate it-Abbie

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