Here's How The First Month Of Legal Weed In California Went
Something that once seemed unbelievable has come to pass: it’s now possible for an adult over the age of 21 to walk into a store and purchase legal weed in California (as long as they have a valid ID). On January 1, 2018, California opened the world’s largest legal cannabis economy. What a time to be alive! Things got off to a bit of rocky start—and there’s still plenty of growing pains for recreational weed in California—but overall, things are looking up for those who seek the medicinal and recreational benefits of cannabis in the Golden State.
On the opening day of legal weed in California, over 400 licenses had been issued by the Bureau of Cannabis Control—and that was before San Francisco and Los Angeles had started issuing their licenses! That number will continue to grow as more municipalities give recreational dispensaries the green light. Revenue reports are not yet in for the month of January, but the projected 2018 revenue for adult use California cannabis could top $5.1 billion. Wow!
One of the most exciting and often overlooked aspects of legal weed in California is the ability to expunge weed-related convictions. Generally speaking, this aspect of the new law must be undertaken by the record holders, but, ever the innovator, San Francisco has opted to undertake the task themselves. Will more jurisdictions take the first step to help remove this burden of the failed War on Drugs? Only time will tell.
The Not So Good
Not everything is peachy green for legal weed in California: there are several known issues afoot. California weed comes with a higher price tag than some were anticipating. An excise tax of 15 percent applies to all cannabis purchases—both recreational and medicinal—in the state of California. This comes alongside state and local sales taxes and any additional local excise taxes, too. This high tax rate will ultimately benefit Californians because the funds will go toward research, education, and community reinvestment, but a price hike of up to 45 percent can be difficult to swallow.
Pass it… but only in private, please.
Most people know how to get legal weed in California now, but then there comes a new problem: where can you smoke it? Smoking in public—both cannabis and tobacco—is widely outlawed. Cars are technically off limits (public roadways means you are in public, apparently), and hotels don’t allow smoking indoors. This leaves a gap yet to be filled by communal smoking lounges ala Amsterdam’s famous coffee shops. The budding canna-tourism industry is definitely hurt by this snag in the law.
Dispensaries across California are bringing in cash hand-over-fist, but that’s just the thing: legal weed in California is still a cash economy. Because marijuana is still illegal on the federal level (thanks, Jeff Sessions), federally backed banks are loathed to handle the transactions. California State Treasurer John Chiang wants to encourage a marijuana-focused state banking system, and he’s looking to other states where weed has been legalized for help. As for now, dispensaries are lining up at their local tax bureaus to pay their taxes in cash—something that other businesses can handle electronically.
Cash is still king of kush in Cali… for now.
Some dispensaries also fear that supply will fall short of overwhelming demand. With everyone from the grower to the distributor to the retailer needing to be approved by the state government, legal weed in California comes wrapped up in plenty of green—err, red!—tape. Focusing on streamlining legalization processes and finding a way for businesses to do business without the burden of cash will help this legal weed in California industry continue to blossom and bud.
The Easiest Way To Buy Legal Weed In California!