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Colorado celebrates 'Green Wednesday'

Joe Rey, a grower at 3D Cannabis Center, waters marijuana plants at the company facility in Denver December 31, 2013. Proprietors of the first marijuana retailers licensed to sell pot for recreational use in Colorado, including 3D, were busy rolling joints and stocking shelves with their leafy merchandise on Tuesday, ahead of a New Year's Day grand opening that marks a new chapter in America's drug culture. REUTERS/Rick Wilking Image by REUTERS

Colorado celebrates 'Green Wednesday'

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Dec 31, 2013

Not only is Jan. 1 New Year's Day, it's also "Green Wednesday" in eight cities in Colorado.

"Preparation for the retail market started more than a year ago, soon after Colorado voters in 2012 approved the legal pot industry. Washington state has its own version, which is scheduled to open in mid-2014," reported ABC News. "Colorado set up an elaborate plant-tracking system to try to keep the drug away from the black market, and regulators set up packaging, labeling, and testing requirements, along with potency limits for edible pot."

According to PBS, "400 applications [still] await approval for retail marijuana shops."

Although anyone over 21 can purchase up to an ounce of legalized weed, "the U.S. Justice Department outlined an eight-point slate of priorities for pot regulations, requiring states to keep the drug away from minors, criminal cartels, federal property and other states in order to avoid a federal crackdown. Pot is still illegal under federal law," added ABC News.

From airport signs detailing no pot beyond this point to new marijuana driving laws, "we understand that Colorado is under a microscope," said Jack Finlaw, lawyer to Gov. John Hickenlooper, overseeing new pot laws.

For the two-dozen already state-licensed marijuana retailers, however, they're ready to see green!

Julianne Cassidy

Julianne Cassidy

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A city girl gone country, Philadelphia-bred journalist Julianne Cassidy relocated to be a Nashville-based digital editor for Scripps Media, Inc.