California's Legal Retail Marijuana Sales Begin January 1

Friday, 12 Jan, 2018

On Monday, dispensaries in California were allowed to sell recreational marijuana for the first time.

Recreational pot became legal in the state on New Year's Day, and some cities already have shops selling recreational pot with local permits and state-issued licenses.

Other Southern California cities are also phasing in recreational sales more gradually.

California voted to legalize in 2016.

Meanwhile, the state of California began licensing businesses in December including everything from distributors to retailers.

The surge also comes as Canada is set to become the second nation after Uruguay to legalize recreational marijuana by July.

Licensed shops are strenuous in the Bay Area San Francisco, San Diego, across Palm Springs, Santa Cruz, and San Jose, where the shop named KindPeoples nailed a banner Monday announcing that the prohibition is over.

While the laws are not ideal; no purchasing before 6 AM or after 10 PM, no use in vehicles (even if you're a passenger), no smoking in public places, etc. this is only one step in a direction towards freedom for drug users. 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.

Users are not allowed to smoke pot in public, while driving or where smoking tobacco is prohibited.

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.

The state expects to bring in $684 million in pot taxes next year, with that number increasing to $1 billion in several years.

Californians have gradually taken a more permissive attitude toward pot.

In 1996, over the objections of law enforcement, President Bill Clinton's drug czar and three former Presidents, California voters approved marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Golden State voters opted to make purchasing recreational pot legal when they green-lighted it on November 8, 2016 by approving Proposition 64 with 57 percent of the vote.

Legalization advocates believe Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and DE could be the next states to pass recreational marijuana laws.

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.

Finding a retail outlet to buy non-medical pot in California won't be easy - at least initially.