The sale of marijuana for recreational use becomes legal on New Year’s Day, but administrative complications have slowed the sales application process in Los Angeles. Other cities, including Santa Cruz, San Diego, Shasta Lake, San Jose and West Hollywood, are ready to light up.
California kicks off recreational sales on New Year’s Day, becoming the largest state in the nation with legal marijuana. But dispensaries in Los Angeles, the state’s largest market, won’t be open for businesses until later in January, says the Associated Press. The city won’t begin accepting applications to sell legal recreational pot until Jan. 3, and it could take weeks before those businesses are properly licensed with the city and state and open their doors. Under Los Angeles rules recently approved, neighborhoods would be largely off-limits to pot businesses, and buffer zones would be set up around schools, libraries and parks. The city has long been a hive of unlicensed dispensaries, and hundreds have been shut down.
So far, legalization has resulted in a patchwork of regulations around California. Santa Cruz, San Diego, Shasta Lake, San Jose and West Hollywood are among the cities where businesses have been authorized for recreational sales. But Kern County is among the places that have banned all commercial marijuana activity. In general, California will treat pot like alcohol, allowing people 21 and older to legally possess up to 1 ounce of the drug and grow six plants at home. The route to legalization began last year when state voters approved Proposition 64, which set the stage for recreational pot sales to adults.