Friday, January 8, 2010

Marijuana Stores Trump Starbucks In Denver

If you want more proof that selling legal pot is a booming business, consider this statistic: Denver has more medical-marijuana shops than Starbucks Corp. locations.

Denver's City Treasurer Steve Ellington tells ABC New affiliate Channel 7 that at least 390 pot dispensaries applied for a sales-tax license recently. That compares to 208 Starbucks in the entire state of Colorado, the station reports. Denver's city council took a step toward regulating the marijuana stores last night, and the businesses are filing their tax applications.

The Denver statistic sheds light on a business that is becoming more institutionalized as local governments try to figure out ways to raise revenue. The Denver council will hold a public hearing and take a final vote Monday. Only a day later, on Tuesday, a California Assembly panel is expected to vote on a bill that would legalize pot across the state.

Denver is an example of how desperate politicians are to collect taxes on this burgeoning industry. The marijuana dispensaries are rushing to get their sales-tax applications filed to beat a deadline as part of a new law being considered. The change in law: No marijuana store can be within 1,000 feet of schools or child-care centers unless you get your tax application in before a deadline.