Summary: Starting January 1, recreational marijuana is now legal for adults to buy in the state of California.
Monday marked a big day for California as the legalization of Recreational Marijuana became official. Hundreds were lined up before the licensed stores opened in order to take advantage of their ability to now buy legal pot.
Owner Matt Lucero of Buddy’s, a medical marijuana dispensary that obtained the first license issued by California to sell Recreational Marijuana, said, “It is probably our busiest day in our seven-year history. We have folks outside; every chair in the building is filled right now.”
The dispensary in Harborside reported hundreds of people lined up, all vying to be the first one to buy weed legally. Lucero was expecting a 30 percent increase in sales overnight but is likely to see closer to “50 to 60%” by the end of the day.
California is now the sixth state to allow marijuana to be sold recreationally. Adults 21 and older are allowed to have up to an ounce of marijuana on them and can grow up to six plants at home. As the most populated state and one of the first to legalize medical marijuana, the addition of recreational marijuana will be a tremendous boost to legalizing marijuana everywhere.
New Frontier Data stated in its annual report, “Cannabis is now legal in the most populous state in the country, dramatically increasing the total potential size of the industry while establishing legal adult use markets across the entire US Pacific Coast given the legalized states of Washington and Oregon.”
Marijuana is still considered illegal under federal government laws and it is illegal to travel across state lines with marijuana in a car, plane, or through the mail. New Frontier Data, which follows the cannabis industry, believes marijuana sales will reach $7 billion in California in the next few years, $400,000 higher than the sales from the entire legal market across the entire United States last year.
Lucero believes that legalizing marijuana may prompt some people who have stayed away from trying marijuana to finally try it out. He said, “By having the state come in with a regulatory program really helps legitimatize it. And I think we’re going to be seeing a lot of folks who otherwise are a little hesitant to shop at dispensaries.”
Even though the law legalizing marijuana went into effect today, many cities have not laid out licensing procedures yet. These cities include the state’s largest cities, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Lucero stocked up at his store, knowing there would be a huge demand. He explained, “We’ve seen other states, once they go recreational, how most of the dispensaries sell out on the first or second day.”
California will benefit greatly from the legalization as well. There are state and local taxes added on to the cost, so depending on the city, the taxes can be as much as 45 percent. A half ounce of Homemade Cherry Pie from Buddy’s will cost a customer around $260. An eighth of an ounce goes for around $25 to $60.
The Bureau of Cannabis Control issued about 200 licenses by the end of last week so sales will start to increase throughout the week, according to spokesman Alex Traverso.
Other states that allow the sale of recreational marijuana are Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.
What states do you think will be next to legalize marijuana? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
To learn more about the legalization of marijuana, read these articles:
- Massachusetts Prepares for Recreational Marijuana Use
- Las Vegas Will Deal Recreational Weed Starting Saturday
- Ohio Not Ready for Medical or Recreational Marijuana