On January 1, legal sales of recreational cannabis began in California. Thousands of people waited in line, many of them overnight, to be of the first to purchase legal weed through a dispensary.
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Californians voted in legal marijuana in November of 2016, and it’s been legal since, but purchasing it at a retail location wasn’t a possibility until New Year’s Day 2018.
This marks a very exciting time for cannabis users across the nation. California is the sixth state to allow recreational sales and with seven states and Washington, DC, legalized totally and 29 states all together having some sort of legalization, from medical to recreational, the future looks bright indeed.
It seems that every time a state legalizes it the naysayers are wondering what about the children? And what about drugged driving? But statistics from the last several years of legalized cannabis in states like Colorado show that youth usage has not risen and the number of fatal car accidents has not spiked. In the least. Day one raids didn’t happen and cannabis connoisseurs are simply becoming more savvy.
Imagine the excitement in the air! Activists and advocates have been waiting with bated breath for California to begin recreational sales. To be able to walk into a dispensary, just because one enjoys the enhancement benefits of cannabis. To see all the goodies lining the shelves: tinctures, oils, edibles, flowers, salves and other craft cannabis wares. To not have to worry about being arrested on the way home with your purchases next to you in the car.
Across the state, over 400 marijuana businesses have licenses and another 1,800 are waiting in the wings for processing to go through. 165 cultivation licenses have also been distributed with more expected on the horizon.
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And though this all sounds nice and breezy, the state has been working nonstop since legalization passed in order to have everything ready by the January 1, 2018 deadline. Event organizers to testing labs, retailers to distributors, all now follow sets of complex rules to regulate the industry.
All in all, it is beyond a historic landmark for California, which was the first state to legalize medical cannabis in 1996. With California hypothetically being the sixth largest economy in the world, cannabis legalization is bound to only expand their numbers and boost the economy even further.