As the clock struck midnight Jan. 1, Proposition 64 took effect in California legalizing cannabis for adult use. According to a report from GreenState, a former federal prosecutor, Henry Wykowski, was the first recreational-use customer at Oakland dispensary Harborside.
“I don’t know that it’s unbelievable so much as it’s been a long time coming. It’s believable because as more and more people embrace cannabis and start to realize that all the hocus pocus about it being a gateway and being bad for you is just boloney. As more and more people lose their concern about using it, they started to use it, and people found it’s a pleasurable experience – nothing to worry about.” – Wykowski in a GreenState interview.
New Frontier Data and Arcview Market Research has estimated that the California legal cannabis market could reach $6.5 billion by 2020. In 2015, the state’s medical cannabis industry was worth $2.7 billion.
In Berkeley, Mayor Jesse Arreguin cut the ribbon at Berkeley Patients Group to begin adult-use sales.
“I’m stoked about this moment, not just for Berkeley, but for the state of California. It’s a long time coming, it’s great to be here at Berkeley Patients Group, the longest operating dispensary in the United States, which has been at the forefront of cannabis reform working with many people to make this day happen, not only to decriminalize marijuana but to tax and regulate it in the state of California.” – Mayor Arreguin in a CannabisNow interview.
However, some California residents 21-and-older are still unable to purchase cannabis without a medical cannabis card because some municipalities have not yet finalized their rules, and others have voted for moratoriums on the industry. The 47 Los Angeles dispensaries approved for permits – many over last weekend – are expected to open today.
California is the nation’s most populous state – with about 40 million people – and is the ninth (including Washington D.C.) to legalize cannabis for adult use.