Denver has 300 marijuana shops

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The Independent US

With 300 listed in the guidebooks, Denver now has more marijuana dispensaries than it does Starbucks coffee houses.

And competition between the dope shops is so intense that the rivals are going into marketing overdrive to get customers through the door, including offering a free first joint, according to The Daily. Indeed, the "industry" has become so popular that a local magazine has even hired its own critic to advise readers on the best smoking joints in town.

William Breathes – unsurprisingly, a pen name – visits several shops a week to help keep readers of Denver's alternative newspaper Westword up to date with the latest joints, pipes and bongs.