Clerk Havilah Nokes arranges packets of marijuana for sale at Cannabis City on the first day of legal recreational pot sales Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson, The Associated Press)

Colorado officials watch Washington retail marijuana sales from afar

Officials in Colorado watched — from afar — with interest as recreational marijuana stores made their first sales in Washington state Tuesday.

Shops in Colorado had a six-month head start on the Washington stores, and that meant Colorado cannabis regulators could offer advice to their counterparts in Washington. Andrew Freedman, the director of marijuana coordination for the Colorado governor’s office, said regulators gave guidance to Washington officials on dealing with edible marijuana products, banking issues and prevention of youth use.

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“We have been in close contact with Washington throughout the process,” Freedman wrote in an e-mail.

No one from the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division went to Washington to watch sales, a division spokeswoman said.

Washington saw only a handful of stores open on its first day — similar to the small group of stores that opened Jan. 1 in Colorado.

Colorado, though, now has 206 stores licensed by the state for recreational sales.

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