- GOP may change presidential nominee process
- GOP, Democrats can't agree on Benghazi investigation
- Boehner to appoint select Benghazi committee
- Retired justice proposes changes to Constitution
- Obamacare under attack as conservatives eye 2016
- US Senator joins critics of federal cattle roundup
- $172 million in taxpayer dollars spent on penis pumps?
- Official: Obama to push for more overtime pay
- US warns Russia over rising Ukraine tension
- Governors: 'Obamacare' here to stay
- Venezuelan voices on the troubles in their country
- Ukraine's Tymoshenko speaks to protesters
- Gay marriage issue flares in Kentucky Senate race
- Ryan says he is keeping his options open for 2016
- Applications for jobless benefits rise to 339K
- White House: Stimulus bill was good for economy
- Democrats seek to turn stand on issues into votes
- AG urges restoring voting rights to ex-inmates
- Employers scrutinize latest health care concession
- A fresh start for Hillary Clinton and liberals?
- US easing immigration rule for terrorist support
- Biden: No obvious reason not to run in 2016
- Clinton warns new Iran sanctions could upend talks
- Obama: Job training must reflect changing economy
- Democratic push to raise minimum wage a longshot
- Obama plans executive action on jobs, retirement security
- Poll: People see Obama as nice guy, so-so prez
- Report: NSA maps pathway into computers
- House ready to OK government-wide $1.1T budget
- Majority of Congress members now millionaires
- Unemployment benefits bill clears hurdle
- Poll: Americans have little faith in government
- Light bulb ban set to go into effect Jan. 1, 2014
- Obama presidency beset by fits, starts in year 5
- American abducted in Pakistan calls for US help
- NSA leaker: Mission is already accomplished
- Obama focuses on a tough year's ups, not its downs
- Mayor John Cranley: We are going to have a streetcar
- Clinton will decide on 2016 sometime next year
- Improving US economy leads Fed to ease stimulus
- White House task force urges limit on NSA snooping
- Judge: NSA program is likely unconstitutional
- Obama to meet with tech CEOs amid NSA concerns
- Wastebook report singles out $30B in federal spending
- Debate on plane phone calls moves on, gets bigger
- Budget deal to cut deficit over 10 years
- Legal weed sales will be spotty in Colorado
- A look at the congressional budget agreement
- Senate holds talkathon over Obama nominees
- How Volcker Rule would limit banks risky bets
- Budget deal aims to avert another shutdown
- Boehner to Run for Re-Election
- State Senator Eric Kearney Resigns from Democratic Ticket
- President and First Lady Depart for South Africa
- Tech giants call for controls on gov't snooping
- Obama's fixer-upper website races to catch up
- Mayor-Elect Nominates Permanent City Manager
- Governor Kasich Leads Challenger FitzGerald in Poll
- Council Member Waives Right to Recount, Saves Taxpayers Thousands
- Cranley Announces Choice for Vice-Mayor
- FitzGerald & Kearney Make Official Ohio Governor's Race Announcement
- 'Stand Your Ground' Proposal Clears Ohio House
- Father of Congressman on Leave Speaks Out About Family Issues
- Florida Congressman Pleads Guilty After Cocaine Arrest
- Ohio House Considers "Stand Your Ground" Gun Bill
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- Congressman and Cincinnati Native Busted on Drug Charges
- Results Mixed for School Districts
- Property Tax Cut or Sales Tax Hike in Hamilton County
- Quinlivan Talks About Council Defeat
- Immigration Reform: House Will Not Talk on Senate-Passed Bill
- Cranley Confirms: City Manager Dohoney to Resign by December 1st
- Cranley: I Have Not Asked City Manager to Resign
- Ohio Legislator Proposes Pay Increase for Thanksgiving Workers
- McConnell promotes alternative to 'Obamacare'
- Obama: 'I'm sorry' Americans are losing insurance
- Critics: Some Unions Could Get Break From Fees
- Mapping Cranley's Victory
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- Warren County Campaign on Candidates and Deciding Issues
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- Qualls and Cranley Make Last Minute Campaign Push
- Federal Appeals Court Will Hear Arguments on Liquor Ban
- #YourVoice2013 Complete Election Coverage
- Most Watched Polls Across America
- Lakota Tries to Pass Levy After Three Defeats
- Qualls and Cranley Face off in Mayoral Race
- Voters Decide Zoo and Library Renewal Projects
- Light Voter Turnout this Election Day
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- Couple Seeking Same-Sex Divorce in Kentucky
- Retirements Increase Due to Issue 4
- Low Turnout Expected on Election Day
- Obamacare: Memo reveals health care adviser warned W.H. was losing control 3 years ago
- Birth Control Mandate Against Some Religions
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- Report: Obama campaign considered replacing Biden with Hillary Clinton
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- Report: White House stopped phone tapping of foreign leaders this summer
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- Ex-House speaker Tom Foley dies at 84
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- Federal Workers Back in Business
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- Debt Limit Debate
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- President and GOP to Meet over Government Shutdown
- Experts Say History is a Guide to Government Shutdown
- 2013 Cincinnati Mayoral Debate
- Hints of a Truce in Government Shutdown
- Doctor is Audited After Comments on Health Care
- Cincinnati Mayoral Race Preview
Legal weed sales will be spotty in Colorado
Updated: Thursday, December 12 2013, 11:18 AM EST
DENVER (AP) -- Legal marijuana sales in Colorado are set to start on Jan. 1, or so the law says. Knowing when the recreational pot shops will actually open, however, is anyone's guess.
The state's 160 hopeful pot shops are so mired in red tape and confusion that no one knows yet when or if they'll be allowed to open. Not a single shop will clear state and local licensing requirements until about Dec. 27.
"There's a perception that come Jan. 1, Colorado's going to be like Wal-Mart on Black Friday, people pouring through the doors. Not going to happen," said Mike Elliott, spokesman for the state's Medical Marijuana Industry Group.
Even as so-called ganjapreneurs are expanding operations, pouring concrete and planning tentative grand openings, they're still navigating a maze of regulations. Many of the applicants are still waiting on inspections, local zoning hearings and background checks before finding out whether they've been approved to open their doors to adults over 21.
"There might be a lot of disappointed people on New Year's Day," Elliott said.
Some of the largest potential new retail pot towns — Aspen, Aurora and Boulder — have already announced they won't have permitting red tape cleared by Jan. 1. Marijuana tourism companies that already lead bring-your-own pot tours in Colorado are putting off new trips, unsure where they'd bring tourists looking to buy legal pot, not just smoke it.
Even in towns hoping to have at least a shop or two open, such as Breckenridge and Telluride, there will be no 12:01 a.m. pot sales. Like liquor stores, marijuana shops have mandated opening hours, not before 8 a.m. anywhere in Colorado.
The regulatory delays are testing the patience of many in the industry.
Ryan Cook, general manager of one of the state's largest marijuana businesses, a chain of stores called The Clinic, is spending his days not prepping a grand opening plan but going to Denver's zoning, planning and fire departments to check on permits.
Cook recently counted out more than $1,400 in cash for some permits from the Denver Fire Department. He was then told he needs another permit for a new machine he acquired to produce marijuana extracts, a $50,000 contraption obtained specifically to comply with new safety guidance from the Fire Department itself.
"You guys have put me through the ringer," Cook joked after picking up the permits, just part of some $300,000 in various permit and license fees The Clinic's six shops will pay to various state and local agencies this year.
"It would be sad for us to see only one or two shops open in the entire state on Jan. 1, but I can see that happening," Cook said.
Julie Postlethwait, spokeswoman for the state Marijuana Enforcement Division, said state pot licenses can't be issued until local governments sign off on potential stores. Cities and counties have in some cases changed fire codes for pot operations, added new signage or zoning requirements or instituted new fees they say they'll need to regulate the industry.
Colorado's marijuana law also allows local governments to opt out of retail pot sales entirely. Even some towns with medical marijuana dispensaries may not be allowing recreational sales, such as Colorado Springs.
Colorado has more than 500 medical marijuana dispensaries, all of which require medical clearance before shoppers can purchase pot. Only 160 of those stores have applied to sell recreational pot, a change that would require them to either ban customers under 21 or keep separate entrances and inventories for patients under 21 and adult recreational users.
The small number of recreational dispensaries, and the last-minute uncertainty on whether they'll be allowed to open, has some in the industry warning of pot shortages and spiraling prices for recreational shoppers. Several retailers declined to share opening-day pricing, but they warned prices could be much higher than what medical patients are paying.
Cook said supply may be so tight that his four potential Denver shops may cap individual purchases below the state-mandated limits of an ounce a day for residents, or a quarter-ounce a day for visitors.
"We're doing everything we can to get ready. But supply's going to be a problem," Cook said.
In Steamboat Springs, Rocky Mountain Remedies owner Kevin Fisher said local permitting delays mean his shop won't be ready for recreational pot sales until Jan. 8. He said he's hoping the small delay will be quickly forgotten.
"I don't think anyone is too upset about waiting to do everything right," Fisher said. "So we open Jan. 8, 2014. That's a lot sooner than Jan 8, 2035, when I thought this might happen."
Kristen Wyatt can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/APkristenwyatt