Californians line up to legally buy recreational pot

California began selling recreational marijuana Monday in what's seen as a milestone in the mainstreaming of the weed...

Posted: Jan 2, 2018 2:13 PM
Updated: Jan 2, 2018 2:13 PM

California began selling recreational marijuana Monday in what's seen as a milestone in the mainstreaming of the weed, and hundreds lined up to buy it.

Lines formed outside stores licensed to sell the drug long before opening hours, and store owners said they had stocked up in expectation of huge demand.

"It is probably our busiest day in our seven-year history," said Matt Lucero, the owner of Buddy's, a dispenser of medical-use marijuana in San Jose that holds the first license issued by California to also sell recreational marijuana. "We have folks outside; every chair in the building is filled right now."

At Harborside dispensary in Oakland, hundreds lined up to be the first to buy the legal weed, CNN affiliate KGO reported.

Speaking with CNN, Lucerno said he expected a 30% bump in sales overnight, but "it looks, in looking around this room, more like 50 to 60%."

California is the sixth state to allow sales of recreational marijuana, and as the nation's most populous state, it's widely seen as a tremendous boost to mainstreaming marijuana.

"Cannabis is now legal in the most populous state in the country," New Frontier Data, which tracks the cannabis industry, wrote in its 2017 annual report, "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."

Pot remains illegal in the eyes of the federal government, and it is illegal to take marijuana across state lines, bring it on a plane or mail it.

The California industry is forecast to reach $7 billion in a few years, more than the $6.6 billion of the entire legal cannabis market in the United States in 2016, according to New Frontier Data.

Legalizing it will mean a lot of people may try it who had shied away until now, Lucero said.

"By having the state come in with a regulatory program really helps legitimatize it," he said. "And I think we're going to be seeing a lot of folks who otherwise are a little hesitant to shop at dispensaries. "

California adults 21 and older can possess as much as an ounce and grow up to six plants at home as of Monday.

Monday was a muted rollout, though, because the licensing procedure is not in place in many cities. No recreational marijuana could be bought legally in Los Angeles or San Francisco, the state's biggest cities.

Buddy's had "stocked up tons because we've seen other states, once they go recreational, how most of the dispensaries sell out on the first or second day," Lucero said.

State and local taxes add a hefty chunk to the price, and depending where it's bought, taxes can add as much as 45% to the cost.

Customers at Buddy's could pick up half an ounce of Homemade Cherry Pie for about $260. Blue Dream is about half that price. Many customers pick up an eighth of an ounce for anywhere between $25 to $60.

Massachusetts will begin selling retail marijuana on July 1. Maine has approved it, but there is no set date to begin sales.

Other states that allow the sale of recreational marijuana are Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Nevada.

More retail shops are certain to open soon in California. The Bureau of Cannabis Control, which issues licenses from the state, had handed out about 200 by the end of last week, spokesman Alex Traverso said in an email.

As far as he's concerned, the first day has been a success, since he hasn't been besieged with calls and emails.

"That's huge, because I'm certain we'd be getting tons of calls if things weren't working," he wrote. "So far so good!"

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 150664

Reported Deaths: 4008
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion24697784
Lake13220352
St. Joseph8877159
Elkhart8469132
Allen7880222
Hamilton5962113
Vanderburgh559360
Tippecanoe354714
Monroe320738
Hendricks3183130
Johnson2995128
Porter297848
Clark285461
Delaware282074
Vigo252637
Madison229593
Cass222021
LaPorte215557
Warrick188464
Kosciusko176823
Floyd174867
Howard158866
Bartholomew139758
Dubois135125
Marshall132526
Henry122628
Grant120939
Wayne119327
Boone118848
Hancock114145
Noble113533
Jackson108713
Morgan92240
Dearborn91628
Daviess84033
Gibson83411
Clinton81616
Shelby79429
Lawrence78534
LaGrange76715
Harrison74024
Putnam71016
Knox70310
DeKalb69411
Posey6796
Steuben6008
Fayette58517
Miami5845
Montgomery57222
White56815
Jasper5624
Greene51837
Scott50813
Decatur49839
Adams4725
Clay4346
Whitley4316
Sullivan42812
Ripley4228
Wells4155
Starke3937
Wabash3919
Orange38725
Huntington3785
Spencer3706
Franklin36525
Jennings36013
Washington3592
Randolph3398
Fulton3362
Jefferson3305
Pike31913
Carroll31413
Perry29514
Jay2876
Fountain2863
Tipton26823
Parke2203
Newton21811
Vermillion2181
Rush2044
Owen2021
Martin1950
Blackford1923
Crawford1491
Pulaski1471
Brown1303
Ohio1227
Benton1070
Union1040
Switzerland890
Warren751
Unassigned0233

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 185639

Reported Deaths: 5083
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin30978635
Cuyahoga19436675
Hamilton16234338
Montgomery10083186
Lucas8175370
Butler8028123
Summit6555261
Warren406360
Stark3696178
Mahoning3635283
Marion335149
Pickaway296946
Delaware281127
Lorain266689
Fairfield257856
Licking248865
Wood244681
Clark242454
Clermont234937
Trumbull2221134
Greene219640
Columbiana210187
Allen203873
Miami195656
Lake188357
Medina180242
Portage156167
Mercer147128
Ross133833
Wayne131568
Richland128624
Tuscarawas123622
Athens11742
Erie113853
Darke110151
Madison103514
Hancock103023
Auglaize95116
Putnam91527
Lawrence90725
Shelby86814
Muskingum8434
Geauga83650
Scioto8059
Belmont78427
Union7343
Ashtabula72148
Huron69910
Sandusky69422
Preble59517
Seneca58514
Holmes57010
Ottawa56830
Fulton5056
Jefferson4564
Henry45317
Defiance44413
Jackson4417
Clinton43613
Fayette4328
Crawford4308
Highland4024
Logan4023
Champaign3873
Ashland3735
Brown3683
Knox36215
Perry35411
Washington33323
Morrow3312
Hardin32113
Williams3194
Coshocton29812
Pike2880
Guernsey2878
Wyandot28413
Gallia27913
Van Wert2333
Meigs21012
Adams2036
Carroll1917
Paulding1901
Hocking1899
Monroe15218
Noble1210
Vinton903
Harrison793
Morgan740
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 59°
Angola
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 57°
Huntington
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 57°
Decatur
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 59°
Van Wert
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 59°
Warmer Thursday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events