BOZEMAN - The first day of recreational sales of marijuana in Montana and now businesses and guests are ready to kick off the new year with a lot of excitement and still a lot of uncertainty.
“Since the summer we have had, we have had multiple people walk in throughout the day asking ‘hey do you sell recreational?’ and always having to turn them away and tell them January 1st,” says Darian Gregory, Owner of Bighorn Buds in Bozeman.
That day is finally here for owner Darian Gregory and his employees at Bighorn Buds; the minutes before opening were filled with anticipation.
“It's been hectic. We have been up almost at midnight getting everything ready here,” says Gregory.
As the guests waited in their cars in sub-zero temperatures and the employees put the final touches on the store making sure labels and everything was in order they were excited to see how this new era for their store would go.
“Anxiety and anxiousness you know seeing what's going to happen- you know we don't really know,” says Gregory.
After more than a year since voters approved the sale of recreational marijuana Gregory says.
“It's been a long time coming,” says Gregory.
As their store filled with guests Gregory and those who came to his store said they were excited agreed to that.
“I’m happy Montana made the jump to recreational,” said one customer.
The last few weeks have meant long hours for Gregory’s team of 5 employees doing everything from cultivation to selling.
“This is kind of our dream and we just want to make it work,” says Gregory.
Throughout the day a steady flow of customers, marijuana and cash made the day fly by for the employees at Bighorn Buds and as the sun went down and the flow of shoppers slowed down they were finally able to take a breather.
“It was crazy busy to start out with,” says Gregory.
With each passing hour, the nerves from the morning had gone down.
“The day is almost over, we are not as anxious as we were,” says Gregory.
Reflecting on how business went on the first day of recreational sales on this a historic day for Montana.
“It was definitely better than expected,” says Gregory.
Gregory tells me that he saw a lot of people from out of state, in fact, he says traffic was so high that even their ATM machine ran out of money. As the night came to a close on this new chapter, and they began to gather things up, his dogs Sayde and Dobby who greeted every single customer laid in their bed exhausted. Not only were they tired but the employees who worked all day said they were ready for some much-needed rest before they do it again.
“I'm going to sleep- I’m going home so fast I'm going to pass out,” says Gregory.