Christmas isn’t the only thing that has Californians seeing green.
January 1, 2018 marks the first day of the legal sale of recreational marijuana in the Golden State, the Los Angeles Times reports. California kicked things off by issuing dozens of permits to retailers this week, many of which are in West Hollywood. However, the city has requested that the weed stores hold off opening until tomorrow, which means Angelenos will have to trek out to licensed Santa Ana, San Diego or Palm Springs stores to legally get high for fun on New Year’s Day. Consumers are still excited. Hundreds lined up to buy all sorts of weed goodies, from joints to topical creams.
And in news you’d never thought you’d hear, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin and state Sen. Nancy Skinner participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the day. Berkeley is home to one of the oldest dispensaries in the country, Berkeley Patients Group. The Times reports that legalization is being welcomed by locals who are relieved to be able to buy cannabis in a safe and legitimate way.
But it’s not just consumers who are excited. Pot means big business for the state. The cannabis market is expected to grow $7 billion annually by 2020. Now that’s a lot of green. As the most populous state in America, California’s move is making a big impression both in dollars and sense. See what I did there?
For all the good that legalization will do, like removing the stigma from cannabis use, it may have some down sides. State, city and sales taxes could drive prices of cannabis way higher (yep, I did it again!), even on lower quality bud.