The medical pot company plans to sell the drug for both medical and recreational use beginning January 1.
As he continued to tell me that he anticipated a line down the street for the first day of recreational pot sales, I got to thinking of how different it felt to report on marijuana than it did just a couple of years ago.
The front of Medicine Man still smacks of the underground culture at the roots of the marijuana industry.
Located in a warehouse complex among dingy industrial buildings, the front door opens into a drab grey lobby, where we were greeted by a receptionist behind a secure window.
|The retail counter|
The setting aside, it was the attitudes I found most surprising. I remember being allowed to shoot video inside of medical marijuana grows only on the condition that we not disclose the name of the business or the location, for fear of drawing unwanted attention from federal law enforcement.
Fast forward past a statewide vote to legalize the drug and a DOJ position letter allowing Colorado to go ahead, and people in the pot business feel emboldened enough to break out the "come on down" pitch.
But we saw more than that on our trip.
In the back of Medicine Man, we watched crews rolling white paint on to a huge warehouse floor.
|Workers prepare a new warehouse space for growing pot|
The vision sounded loosely like the sort of tours given by craft breweries all over the state. The large-scale expansion itself also reminded me of local breweries, most of which are always working on an expansion plan to meet demand.
If you ask Williams about this comparison to the brewery business, you'll get an emphatic "yes."
He believes the pot business is heading for a boom-- more than 40 people now work for him and he anticipates hiring 20 more after legalization takes effect.
|Marijuana buds hang to dry before packaging|
Medical marijuana cardholders tend to know what they want. A middle-aged tourist from California looking to relive the experience of getting high from his college days just might have more questions before buying some pot.
As a guy in the trenches, Williams thinks the experts are lowballing their estimates of how much pot business Colorado is in for.
If he's right, he'll be sitting pretty. Medical pot businesses get a 2-year window of exclusivity to sell recreational pot in Denver.