California: The sale of recreational marijuana has officially begun

1 out of 5 Americans will be able to buy cannabis

California: The sale of recreational marijuana has officially begun

During the first week of 2018, thousands celebrated, in California, not only the beginning of a new year, but also the legalization of recreational marijuana. Since 1996, the state has been fighting for the right to implement medical marijuana; now, it has officially become the sixth state to openly allow the sale of recreational pot.

During the last two weeks of 2017, the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) issued about 200 licenses to retail stores for recreational marijuana sale. On January 1st, buyers lined up at the establishments since early hours of the morning in order to buy the drug.  

Although marijuana reminds illegal for the federal government as well as for two of the main cities in California,  Los Angeles and San Francisco, it is forecasted that the cannabis industry will reach $7 billion dollars in a few years, amount equal to one seventh of what beer consumption represents to the state.

What are the requirements to buy and sell recreational marijuana?

With the aim of regulating the market and consumption of marijuana, the BCC imposed a series of rules to which sellers and buyers must agree on. Each California city will be in charge of granting the legal marketing licenses of cannabis, which indicates that they will have the freedom to tax and sell pot under their own terms.

Rules for sellers:

  • Obtain a Commercial License from the State and permit from the city

  • Pay local government taxes issued for marijuana sale, which may vary

  • Certify the place where cannabis will be grown or distributed

Rules for buyers:

  • Be 21 years old or older

  • Can posses as much as an ounce (38.34 grams)

  • Cannot smoke in public places

  • Cannot smoke in places where smoking is forbidden

  • Cannot smoke within 304 meters of schools, nurseries, or playgrounds

As explained in a CNN article, state and local taxes can add up to as much as 45% to the cost of marijuana; half an ounce of pot (141 grams) can be purchased from about $130 to $260, depending on the city or establishment where people would buy it.  

27 of the 50 states in the United States allow the use of medical marijuana. Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, Columbia, Washington, and now California are the six states where the consumption and sale of recreational marijuana is legal. On July 1st, Massachusetts will join the group, as well as Nevada and Maine, who have not confirmed an exact date yet, but have made their intention known  to legalize the use of recreational cannabis during 2018 is clear.


Latin American Post | Krishna Jaramillo

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto


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