What New Mexico can learn about legalizing recreational pot

In 2014, Colorado was the first state to allow entrepreneurs to open stores to sell marijuana to anyone over the age of 21. By Jan. 1 of that year, permits were issued, stores were built and marijuana was flying off the shelf.

“As voters we were visionaries,” said Rachel Gillette, a Denver-based attorney who represents cannabis companies.

The most obvious and visible benefit Colorado is seeing is the revenue marijuana taxes have generated for state and local governments. In total, marijuana taxes make up about 1.5 percent of the state’s total budget equaling about $130 million last year. 

Much of the money is earmarked for

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