Recreational marijuana shops open in California

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on January 19, 2018.

California began selling legal recreational marijuana on the New Year’s Day Monday, joining seven other states and Washington D.C. in the US that have legally allowed to sell it through retail stores.

Customers have lined up early to purchase recreational marijuana legally for the first time in the nation's most populous state.A large number of customers wore cannabis necklaces and sunglasses, green swag to celebrate the legal sale of recreational marijuana.

At least 90 retailers received licenses state-wide to open New Year's Day. They are concentrated in San Diego, Santa Cruz, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Palm Springs area.

“It feels great. It is long overdue,” said Craig Reinarman, a UC Santa Cruz sociology and legal studies professor emeritus who purchased the first weed at the KindPeoples dispensary in Santa Cruz to a round of applause.

Defying federal law, Californians voted for cannabis legalization in November 2016 by passing Proposition 64 with 57 per cent of the vote. Anyone 21 and older now can make purchases recreational marijuana at licensed shops as well as possess as much as an ounce and grow up to six plants at home. 

Along with the retail sales law, California legislators enacted specific provisions for marijuana use. Anyone who purchases recreational marijuana isn't allowed to smoke in public areas and can't use it places where cigarettes aren't allowed.

Growing and selling marijuana for medicinal purposes has been legal in California since 1996.

The marijuana market in the state, which boasts the world's sixth-largest economy, is valued by most experts at several billion dollars annually and is expected to generate at least a $US1 billion a year in tax revenue.

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