A medical marijuana dispensary in Central City, Colorado, could be the first merchant in the United States to sell recreational marijuana in accordance with state law.
Federal law still makes it illegal to sell, possess and consume weed for any reason, including medical and recreational uses. It is unclear whether federal prosecutors will pursue recreational dealers.
However, flying in the face of federal law, Colorado and Washington passed initiatives on November 6, 2012, to legalize recreational use of the drug.
Since the ballot measures passed, both state governments have worked to set up licensing systems for people who want to sell marijuana.
Erin Logan owns eight medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado, including Annie's Dispensary, where she expects to be able to start selling marijuana to people simply looking to enjoy the drug starting January 1. Logan does not expect to be able to sell weed online to in-state customers.
Logan also claims to have the first retail marijuana license ever issued, a claim that is difficult to prove.
"WE are in possession of the FIRST RETAIL MJ license in the USA and the WORLD!!!!!!," reads a message posted to the dispensary's Facebook page November 18.
"We actually called the other jurisdictions here in Colorado that also were taking recreational applications and at the time that ours was issued, we didn't find anyone that had issued a license," Logan told HLN.
Reba Bechtel, the city clerk for Central City, confirmed to HLN that Logan's store was the first license issued in the area on October 31. The license allows Annie's Dispensary to start selling recreational marijuana January 1. However, Bechtel could not confirm whether other cities in the state have issued similar licenses.
The Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division must also issue a state license to any merchant seeking to sell recreational marijuana. A representative from the Marijuana Enforcement Division told HLN they could not confirm whether Annie's Dispensary was the first to receive a municipal license in Colorado. However, the representative did say the division will issue the first state licenses for retail marijuana by the first of the year. Logan says her state license is already approved, and she should receive it the last week of December.
In Washington, the state's Liquor Control Board is handling the licensing system for marijuana. Mikhail Carpenter, a representative for the board, tells HLN his department just started to process recreational licenses Wednesday and it could take 60 to 90 days to issue the first licenses. Carpenter also said that municipal governments in Washington will not issue licenses.
Logan said she can't wait to get her state license, and celebrate the new year selling recreational weed.
"It's very exciting for me, and when we put in our applications, it was very exciting to see it come to fruition," said Logan. "It's just kind of groundbreaking because Colorado and Washington were the first states to actually allow for recreational marijuana and then to be the first place to actually receive a license is unbelievable."