A line forms outside the Cannabis Club on Main Street downtown for an 8 a.m. opening. (Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)

Breckenridge, Silverthorne pot sales attract lines, music, cheers

SILVERTHORNE — More than 30 people lined up outside the Breckenridge Cannabis Club for the 8 a.m. opening of legal marijuana sales Wednesday morning. Dozens more gathered for the 10 a.m. opening in Silverthorne.

As snow fell in Breck and temperatures creeped toward 20 degrees, tourists and locals jockeyed for kind bud and their own piece of personal history.

The first in line was “Bob,” not his real name.

“It might be legal, but it’s still not socially acceptable,” said the local.

A few spots back, Kyle Culpepper, a vacationer from Alabama, played music from miniature speakers attached to his smart phone.

Just before the doors opened the crowd warmed up to Rick James’ “Mary Jane.”

“I’m standing in line. It’s cold. I thought I’d entertain people with my music,” he explained.

Mark Victory of Dallas was excited but limited, he said. His wife gave only a little money to spend, he said.

In Silverthorne, the holiday pot-buying crowd numbered in the dozens in a line that extended down a hall and a flight of exterior stairs outside High Country Healing.

“Good morning!” called out owner Nick Brown as he swung open the glass door. The crowd answered back “good morning” with even more cheer, and some applauded.

Brown announced that the first one in would get a free quarter ounce.

In a show of Colorado class, the first in line turned and said he would split it with the second, a stranger a few minutes before. Neither wanted his named published.

“That’s mountain spirit,” Brown said a few minutes later, as buyers showed their IDs and shuffled into four buying stations.

The crowd was diverse: locals and tourists, young skiers and retirees who recalled the weaker pot strains of the 1960s.

“I never thought this day would come,” said Tim Palermo, 66, of Sandy Springs, Texas, who was picking up a weekend stash for himself, his wife and another couple. “We had to try it. We haven’t gotten high in, I guess, 35 years. … It should be legal everywhere, but I doubt Texas will ever go legal, so this might be our only chance, or it might mean more trips to Colorado — if we like it.”

Andrea Jones, 26, of Denver emerged down the stairs with a quarter of sour diesel, kissed the bag and egged on the crowd with a Jackie Gleason catch phrase, “How sweet it is!”

Brown, a former Princeton football player from Colorado Springs, invested his savings to open a medical marijuana shop at the location 100 yards off Interstate 70 four years ago, when his work in real estate sputtered.

“I already believed in the plant,” he said. “I saw it as a golden opportunity, but I never thought we’d be standing here today with this. This is history, and for us it’s only going to get better.”

Joey Bunch: 303-954-1174, jbunch@denverpost.com or twitter.com/joeybunch

This story was first published on DenverPost.com