California Legalizes Marijuana 2018
It’s finally here. Marijuana is legal in California and adults 21 and older may go into a dispensary and buy weed. The Los Angeles Times reported that around 100 dispensaries were open for business starting at 6 a.m. New Year’s Day to sell recreational marijuana.
Only commercial retailers that applied for a temporary adult-use a license from the California Bureau of Cannabis Control were open and allowed to sell recreational weed. More shops are expected to open over the next few months.
Some of the cities that were open for business on Monday included Berkeley, Santa Cruz, San Diego, Oakland, Palm Springs, and the Santa Ana area. Each city had hundreds of people lining the block.
Pot shops in West Hollywood were open for business starting on Tuesday and had lines around the block as well. Urbn Leaf dispensaries in San Diego has delivery services and says they can deliver marijuana in 20 minutes. The dispensary served more than 350 before noon and had 31 drivers making deliveries on Monday.
San Francisco and Los Angeles did not have local regulations in place soon enough to open Jan.1, but both cities are expected to be ready later in the week. Around 1,400 people that have applied for commercial licenses in the state are awaiting approval from the California Bureau of Cannabis Control.
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) told the Huffington Post that the day was a milestone, saying “Now it’s time for California to transition a billion-dollar industry largely existing in the shadows of the black market into a tracked, traced, taxed and tightly regulated system.” The state is expected to make more than $7 billion per year from cannabis by 2020 and will be the largest legal marketplace for weed. The state has also decriminalized the drug. Anyone convicted of a marijuana-related crime that now is legal under the new law in California can now petition to have their record erased or charges reduced.
Niko Mann is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles, California.