The amount of money that the marijuana market in California is predicted to be worth makes experts believe other states will begin the due processes to legalize it, too.
Many Californians woke up this Monday, January 1st, celebrating something more than the beginning of the New Year 2018. As expected, the first stores able to sell pot officially opened at the first minute of New Year’s day morning, and there were already customers waiting in line.
Only adults over the age of 21 years old will be able to legally pay for marijuana in retailers and other stores, as the law accords. They will be allowed just to carry not more than one ounce of pot. Otherwise, they will have to store the rest inside their private residential properties, or officials will take it from them.
Farmers or ordinary people who want to have their own cannabis plant will be allowed to grow only 6 of them.
Although this new law ends with previous limitations, adults will only be able to consume their weed inside their houses. Public places are still forbidden for people who like to smoke in open areas, like other private centers where tobacco smoking is not banned.
There will be 20 different types of licenses that pot farmers, distributors, and retailers will need to acquire them. In fact, among them, the authorities announced that one would allow people to deliver the drug, or bring weed to some customer’s door.
Just a few stores started selling the product on Monday morning, but other retailers will begin as the year goes on. The Bureau of Cannabis Control agency said that the additional licenses would be given over the course of 2018.
“It’s been so long since others and myself could walk into a place where you could feel safe and secure and be able to get something that was good without having to go to the back alley,” said Jeff Deakin, a 66-year-old-man who was in Oakland accompanied by his wife, Mary, and his dog, waiting until the opening of Harborside dispensary, at 6 a.m. PT. “This is kind of a big deal for everybody.”
California and other states
The state of California has played a notable role on pot since 1996 when it became legal only for medical purposes. But after the citizens voted “yes” on Prop 64, the 2016 initiation which sought to legalize recreational marijuana, the changes became notable right away.
The revenues of recreational marijuana are projected to be worth around $7 million, converting the state as the owner of the largest legal marijuana market. Additionally, experts also assure that California could generate up to $1 billion in taxes only due to marijuana consumption.
The new law will also open opportunities to people who have been previously convicted of marijuana-related crimes. However, these petitions will have to be reviewed by courts.
Although California has been crucial these past years, it’s not the first state of the US that legalizes recreational pot. Previously, Oregon, Washington, Washington D.C., Colorado, and Alaska, allowed their people to commercialize the drug.
In Colorado and Washington, the retail marijuana stores started running in 2014. The year after, the same happened in Oregon. And finally, in 2016, Alaska also opened its first retailers.
Just like California, the states of Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada also voted in 2016 to legalize recreational pot two years later. The four of them have similar restrictions, including not letting people smoke weed in public places where children can see or smell them.
Travelling carrying pot from a state where marijuana is legal to another where’s not is still banned.
There is a list of other states which are planning to legalize weed in 2018 – including Vermont, New Jersey, and Michigan. All of them have legislation ongoing, but Vermont is the only one that already announced there soon will be a meeting after January 3 between lawmakers from the state and leaders from the House and Senate.
Authorities from the other states have not said anything yet, but they are working on the matter.
Despite the fact that opening the marijuana market might help end with rated crimes and minor consumption, other experts are not sure about it. According to the California Growers Association, 80 percent of the marihuana that’s commercialized across the US is produced in California.
Opened after December 31’s midnight
Nick Hughes, at the Cathedral City Care Collective, officially started selling recreational pot one minute after midnight. He saw people extremely happy and proud waiting on the line.
Unlike other stores that could open at 6 a.m. PT, this one had permission from city officials to do it earlier.
As Hughes said, his first customer – and maybe the first in the entire city – waited “for (him) to open.” He looked “excited,” and seemed “like he was honored to be the first.”
Just like Hughes’ retailer, there were other 90 of them in San Diego, Santa Cruz, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Palm Springs area, that also received the license to open after midnight.
“We were hoping people would take advantage and people would want to be part of history,” Hughes told USA Today.
Hughes said he welcomed around seven customers the first hour after he opened. However, he expected more people to come over the next hours.
Source: Elite Daily