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Legal Pot Begins in California, Already the World’s Largest Marijuana Marketplace



The world’s largest authorised pot economy gets underway on Jan 1, as California’s voter-approved law legalizing recreational pot commerce goes into effect. It’s been authorised to possess and grow tiny amounts of weed given shortly after votes upheld Prop 64 in Nov 2016, but as of New Year’s Day, we see the unleashing of what is approaching to be a $7 billion a year state pot industry.

But in a state of 39 million, only a few dozen pot shops are approaching to be open for business on day one—and major cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco are not included. That’s given weed sellers have to have both a internal assent and a state license, and few localities have finished their needing procedures.

San Francisco is among them, but it’s still not utterly going to be prepared on day one. Expect recreational pot sales to start there within a matter of days, though.

“It is going to take a while to get these businesses up and running,” pronounced Lori Ajax, who runs the California Bureau of Cannabis Control. “We’re asking people to be patient.”

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Among the major cities that will have recreational pot shops open on day one are Berkeley, Oakland, San Diego, and San Jose. This interactive map charts all of the approximately 40 shops that will be open on Jan 1.

zAccording to the Bureau of Cannabis Control, San Diego and San Jose will have the many stores open, with 7 each, while two will be open in Berkeley and one in Oakland. Other pot shops open on Jan 1 are sparse opposite the state, from Mt. Shasta, Shasta Lake, Eureka, and Ukiah in the north, down to Santa Cruz on the coast, Palm Springs in the Southern California interior, and Woodlake, the only shop open in the whole Central Valley.

Medical pot dispensaries that have not practical for and perceived licenses for recreational pot sales will sojourn singular to portion business with studious IDs.

While Jan 1 marks the commencement of the epoch of recreational pot sales, that doesn’t meant California is branch into the Wild West of weed. The state has a repute for being rarely regulated, and that’s no opposite when it comes to marijuana. Here are some of the things you can’t do with authorised weed in the Golden State:

  • You can’t squeeze or possess some-more than an ounce–unless it is the fruits of your personal grow. 
  • You can’t smoke it in open in many places, including bars and restaurants. Anywhere cigarette smoking is prohibited, pot smoking is prohibited. And if you’re a renter, your landlord can anathema pot smoking on the premises.
  • You can’t get befuddled while driving.  Getting held toking up behind the circle will get you a $75 ticket, but if the cops consider you are too high, you could also finish up getting destitute for pushing under the influence, and that’s a whole lot some-more than a $75 ticket.
  • You can’t use marijuana’s state-legal standing to forestall your employer for banishment you for smoking pot, even off the job.

People purchasing authorised recreational pot will be contributing mightily to the state’s coffers. In further to state sales taxation of 8% and any internal sales taxes—some localities devise sales taxes of up to 10%– a 15% dig taxation on indiscriminate purchases by retailers will be upheld on to consumers. This could finish up putting a billion dollars a year in the state and internal treasuries.

It could also make the state’s existent black marketplace some-more appealing to consumers. If Californians accustomed to shopping their weed in the spontaneous zone are faced with aloft prices in pot shops than they can get from the man down the street, they must just stay with the man down the street.

And product shortages could also drive up prices, at slightest in the brief run. While the state produces large amounts of marijuana—an estimated 13.5 million pounds any year—up to 80% of that is unfailing for the black market, possibly for trade to prohibitionist states or sole informally in-state. With needing and chartering of producers for the authorised recreational marketplace at a very early stage, supply bottlenecks are likely to develop, heading to dull shelves, as they did in Nevada in 2017.

Still, California is now entering a Brave New World of authorised marijuana. And with the nation’s many populous state embracing legalization, there’s no going back now, no matter what Washington thinks. 

David McCullick is vice-president of the Sonoma Patient Group, a Santa Rosa, California-based medical pot dispensary. 



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