DENVER — Long lines and blustery winter weather greeted Colorado marijuana shoppers testing the nation's first legal recreational pot shops Wednesday.
Colorado unveiled the modern world's first fully legal marijuana industry — no doctor's note required (as in 18 states and Washington, D.C.) and no unregulated production of the drug (as in the Netherlands). Uruguay has fully legalized pot but hasn't yet set up its system.
Colorado had 24 shops open Wednesday, most of them in Denver, and aside from long lines and sporadic reports of shoppers cited for smoking pot in public, there were few problems.
"Everything's gone pretty smoothly," said Barbara Brohl, Colorado's top marijuana regulator as head of the Department of Revenue.
The agency sent its new marijuana inspectors to recreational shops to monitor sales and make sure sellers understood the state's new marijuana-tracking inventory system meant to keep legal pot out of the black market.