Pot sales limited on 1st day in Steamboat Springs
January 8, 2014
Steamboat Springs — For many standing in line at Rocky Mountain Remedies on Wednesday morning, prices were not an issue.
Frank Rayas, who was visiting Steamboat Springs from San Marcos, Texas, was caught up in the excitement and was expecting to pay for pot what he heard people were paying in Denver. He said a friend of his paid $70 for an eighth of an ounce of marijuana. Once inside Steamboat’s first recreational use store, Rayas found an eighth was going for $50, which included taxes. An eighth of an ounce of pot is enough for about seven average-sized joints.
With a limited supply, some Denver shops have chosen to charge what some thought were inflated prices. On Wednesday, The Denver Post reported one of the 18 stores licensed to sell recreational pot since Jan. 1 had sold out of product.
Rocky Mountain Remedies co-owner Kevin Fisher said he had heard of eighths going for as high as $100 in Denver.
"While we might be able to get that, I don't think we've ever been the gougers," Fisher said. "There's a fair margin for us and a fair price for the people to pay."
Fisher said his prices were set at what the medicinal product sells for plus the additional taxes tacked onto pot sold for recreational use, and based on that pricing structure, a gram of pot sells for $17.
In all, recreational pot in Steamboat is taxed at a rate of 33.65 percent. That includes a 10 percent special state sales tax and a 15 percent excise tax approved by Colorado voters in November.
The line throughout the day outside Rocky Mountain Remedies was two hours long. Fisher said about 230 people made purchases, but he would not say how much money was brought in.
Initially, Fisher said his store was offering a limited product line, which still included upwards of 20 strands of straight-up pot, gummy products, vaporizers and sodas.
On the first day, Fisher said the maximum amount a customer could buy was an eighth of an ounce, even though Colorado residents are allowed to buy up to an ounce per day and non-residents can buy up to a quarter of an ounce.
"They can all come back tomorrow, but this is the first day," Fisher said. "We have no idea how it's going to go, so we want to make sure that there is some for people tomorrow, the next day and the next day."
Fisher said he was a little concerned the business may run a little short on inventory during the next few months until there are more products being produced for recreational use sales.
"But instead of limiting sales by high prices, we'll voluntarily place a limit on what people can purchase that might be lower than what the state law allows," Fisher said.
Some customers were surprised to learn that Rocky Mountain Remedies accepts credit and debit cards.
"That's the first time I've bought weed without cash," said Minnesota resident Patrick Krenke, who was Rocky Mountain Remedies' first customer, with a $112.55 purchase.
Fisher said accepting credit cards is nothing new for them.
"We haven't had any issues with credit cards or bank accounts for years," Fisher said.