CARBONDALE, Colo. The start of the new year will also mark the beginning of recreational marijuana sales in Colorado, but for some Western Slope shops, it's going to take a little longer due to the extensive approval process.
"Very, very involved." said James Leonard, owner of Doctor's Garden in Carbondale. "It involves background checks. We had to disclose our complete financial history. It's a pretty in-depth process."
Doctor's Garden has to wait until January 14 for final approval from the town council before it can start selling marijuana without requiring a prescription.
Leonard said he doesn't anticipate any problems as the community has been accepting of pot sales so far, so he's hoping to open his doors to recreational users January 15.
"Carbondale's been a progressive, kind of wayward-thinking community for a long time, this entire valley." he said. "It was something that we hoped they would approve and they did."
Along with Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Silt are allowing recreational marijuana sales.
"I think it's absolutely revolutionary," Leonard said. "Just as far as free thinking and getting the laws on par with public knowledge and what people already know to be true. I think Colorado's definitely taking a leadership role in this."
However, a number of cities on the Western Slope have decided to ban retail sales of the drug including Grand Junction, Montrose, Delta, Rifle, Parachute and New Castle.