The High Cost of Marijuana

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NBC Nightly News
Lester Holt/Gabe Gutierrez
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Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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Colorado's marijuana legalization has led to high demand in the state, which has increased prices and quickly dwindled supplies.



"The High Cost of Marijuana." Gabe Gutierrez, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 11 Jan. 2014. NBC Learn. Web. 16 August 2018.


Gutierrez, G. (Reporter), & Holt, L. (Anchor). (2014, January 11). The High Cost of Marijuana. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from


"The High Cost of Marijuana" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 01/11/2014. Accessed Thu Aug 16 2018 from NBC Learn:


The High Cost of Marijuana

LESTER HOLT, anchor:

We’re back with an update tonight in what has quickly become a booming new business in Colorado- the legal sale of recreational marijuana. Ten days after it began, sales have already topped $5 million in the high demand, means some stores are running low. More tonight from NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez.

GABE GUTIERREZ, reporting:

At the clinic in Denver—

RYAN COOK: So we are selling this—

GUTIERREZ: --Ryan Cook is selling out faster than he can harvest.

COOK: There’s been an enormous demand.

GUTIERREZ: There is plenty of medical marijuana left, but when recreational sales became legal in Colorado in January 1st, licensed stores had to set aside a certain amount and that supply is dwindling fast.

MAN: It’s kind of crazy.

GUTIERREZ: Prices are skyrocketing. With extra taxes, recreational marijuana now costs double what medical does in some stores. Many dispensaries say they are still getting more than 500 recreational customers a day here at Botana Care. That translates to more than $40,000 in business every day. Owner Robin Hackett is one of the many sellers rationing their product.

ROBIN HACKETT: Unless the Department of Revenue makes some changes, we’ll be out of marijuana in the next 10 days.

GUTIERREZ: Adding to the green rush--pot tourists from all walks of life.

PETER JOHNSON (Colorado Green Tours): Many professionals, many doctors, and many wealthy people.

GUTIERREZ: And the industry is growing elsewhere, Washington State plans to allow recreational pot sales by this summer. Alaska might vote on it later this year. And by 2016, we could see ballot measures in Oregon, California, Maine, and Massachusetts.

GOVERNOR JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D-Colorado): This is going to be one of the great social experiments of this century.

GUTIERREZ: Critics say the budding business is marketing to young people. And while the government is letting states make their own rules, pot is technically illegal under federal law. Marijuana users in Colorado can still be fired for failing a drug test.

CURTIS GRAVES (Mountain States Employers Council): Employers do hold all the cards now, you know. If businesses want to discipline people harshly for their off duty marijuana use, they can.

GUTIERREZ: But that’s not deterring buyers.

COOK: We’re in what we consider to be a perpetual harvest.

GUTIERREZ: A social experiment in very high demand. Gabe Gutierrez, NBC News, Denver.