Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

California launches legal sale of cannabis for recreational use

California launches legal sale of cannabis for recreational use

Buddy's had "stocked up tons because we've seen other states, once they go recreational, how most of the dispensaries sell out on the first or second day", Lucero said.

While most of California's major metro areas have either already issued dispensary licenses or are in the process of reviewing them, some large cities have already said no. Riverside, Fresno, Bakersfield, Pasadena and Anaheim banned sales before they could begin in 2018, with many smaller communities and rural towns doing the same.

California voted to legalize in 2016.

The new California law, passed by voter referendum in 2016, allows people over 21 to possess, transport, purchase, consume or share up to 28.5 grams of marijuana, and up to 8 grams of marijuana concentrates. That 2016 initiative set January 1, 2018, as the day recreational sales would become legal.

According to the Los Angeles Times, cities such as Los Angeles, West Hollywood, San Francisco, Oakland, San Diego, Santa Cruz and San Jose will issue licenses to sell marijuana, but they may not be issued right away. California's got very strict anti-smoking laws in place, and if you're caught burning one down in your vehicle or on the street, you could face a $100 fine. Local governments are free to set rules for smoking at sales shops, what some call cannabis cafés or lounges, but that will vary city to city. The biggest of these benefits is the influx of local tax revenue, along with the eradication of many black market sales.

California is the sixth state to allow sales of recreational marijuana, and as the nation's most populous state, it's widely seen as a tremendous boost to mainstreaming marijuana.

However, this may not indicate the end of drug dealers pedaling marijuana, as taxes are expected to raise the retail cost of pot up to 70 percent higher than the street price.

Prior to the New Year, they operated medical marijuana businesses in the state, but have switched over to the recreational market in 2018.

A full and updated list of dispensaries awarded retail licenses for recreational marijuana sales can be found on the bureau's website.

Back in July, Greece went ahead and legalised cannabis for medical purposes, joining the Czech Republic, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, making it the sixth European Union member state to legalise it.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will rescind a "hands-off" policy that allowed states to legalize marijuana use without federal intervention, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

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