TODAY   |  January 10, 2014

Colorado stores report marijuana shortage

About 10 days after legal sales of marijuana for recreational use began in Colorado, stores are already reporting a shortage. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> meantime, just ten days into the history making sales of recreational marijuana in colorado , some stores are now reporting a major shortage. nbc's gabe gutierrez is following the story outside denver. gabe, good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning. it was only a matter of time. the green revolution is apparently taking this state by storm. and many sellers by surprise. the governor is calling it one of the great social experiments of the century.

>> reporter: this morning for some, a crisis in colorado . the weed is running low, well, sort of. there's plenty of medical marijuana left, but when recreational sales became legal on january 1st , licensed stores were required to set aside a certain amount, and that supply is dwindling fast.

>> there's been an enormous demand.

>> ryan cook runs the clinic in denver. for the last two days, he's sold out of his recreational inventory faster than he can harvest it. the high demand has also driven up prices. medical marijuana can cost around $30 for 1/8 of an ounce. the recreational kind now running closer to 60 or higher in some stores.

>> eventually the price will decide itself.

>> reporter: most sellers are rationing it, but even that may not be enough.

>> unless the department of revenue marijuana enforcement division makes some changes, we'll be out of marijuana in the next ten days.

>> reporter: recreational pot is clearly a growing industry. washington plans to allow it by this summer. alaska might vote on it later this year, and by 2016 , we could see it on the ballot in oregon, california, maine and massachusetts.

>> we see that this is all going to level out in a few months as demand lowers or at least steadies.

>> industry experts estimate that legal recreational sales in colorado have already topped $5 million. but really, there's no exact figure. so savannah, i said it last week and i'll say it again, this is a lot of weed.

>> well said, gabe. and so much weed, i wonder if there's a contact high going on.

>> yeah. we wondered why he was missing the bag of funions.

>> they did report a shortage of 7-elevens with chee-tos.

>> wow.

>> that might be the best live shot location.

>> and gabe volunteered to stay through the weekend.

>> got there through the night.

>> i was at these places last week, and i took matt's advice last week, i did go home and dry clean my clothes immediately.

>> good call, gabe. thank you