- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Motorists will be able to legally purchase marijuana from the nation’s first drive-thru dispensary when it opens its doors in Colorado on Thursday, April 20.

The pot shop, “Tumbleweed,” will occupy a former car wash in the small town of Parachute, about 200 miles west of Denver.

Colorado became the first state in the country to let adults legally buy marijuana for recreational use in 2014, opening the door a handful of other states to follow suit notwithstanding the federal government’s ongoing prohibition on pot.

Yet while hundreds of dispensaries have since opened in the Centennial State and beyond, cannabis experts expect Tumbleweed to be the first pot shop to offer drive-thru service.

“As far as I can tell we are not aware of this business model ever coming up before,” Robert Goulding, spokesman for the Marijuana Enforcement Division, told western Colorado’s Post Independent newspaper.

Tumbleweed customers will be required to literally drive into the establishment to purchase pot, putting the business in compliance with a state law that prohibits marijuana from being visible beyond the licensed premise of an authorized dispensary.

State law also bars dispensaries from admitting anyone under the age of 21, meaning cars can’t legally enter Tumbleweed if any of its passengers are underage.

“It will have to follow all the rules and regulations that apply to every dispensary,” Mr. Goulding said.

For a town of roughly 1,100, Parachute expects the first-of-its-kind drive-thru to do wonders for generating local revenue. While Colorado’s first pot shops opened up in January 2014, Parachute continued to prevent marijuana establishments through June 2015. After that ban was repealed nearly two years ago, however, Parachute suddenly saw its sales tax revenue surge by upwards of 70 percent, according to the Post Independent.

Tumbleweed has been a good neighbor and has made large investments into town,” Stuart McArthur, Parachute’s town manager, told the newspaper. “We’re excited to have Tumbleweed here and get on the map with something that is totally unique. Google it and you get over 15 pages of hits.”

Colorado’s legal cannabis industry generated over $1 billion in revenue during 2016, earning the state close to $200 million in taxes and other fees, according to its Department of Revenue.

Twenty-eight states and the nation’s capital have passed laws authorizing adults to use marijuana for medical or recreational purposes in spite of the plant being considered a Schedule 1 substance by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Thursday, meanwhile, holds its own significant among stoners. April 20 — and more broadly the number 420 — has been closely associated with cannabis culture for decades, and pro-weed rallies are expected to occur Thursday in cities across the country.

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