STATE

Title: California pot shops prepare for their first day of legal recreational marijuana sales

Author: La Times

Date: 1 January 2018

URL: http://beta.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-marijuana-prep-20171231-story.html

Extract  Pot dispensaries in Southern California were scrambling Sunday to prepare for their first day of legal recreational marijuana sales, with a historic state law permitting such businesses set to take effect New Year’s Day.

“We are excited. We just got our state license on Saturday … so immediately there was extra energy in everyone’s step,” said Robert Taft Jr., founder of the medical marijuana dispensary 420 Central in Santa Ana. “Being part of history is an amazing thing.”

Taft said he brought in five new cash registers and hired six additional “budtenders” in preparation for the new law. He also doubled his inventory and consulted with his attorneys daily to ensure his store was in full compliance.

In addition, Taft has increased the store’s security, adding 24-hour armed guards. Selling recreational marijuana is an all-cash business.

$4B Brave New World: Updates on the launch of California’s recreational marijuana market

Chart: California recreational marijuana sales set to begin in limited number of stores

 

HUMBOLDT COUNTY

Title: Humbolt County gets the green light: How business is changing as America’s marijuana epicenter goes legal.

Author: CNBC

Date: 1 January 2018

URL: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/01/humbolt-county-gets-the-green-light-how-business-is-changing-as-americas-marijuana-epicenter-goes-legal.html

Extract:  That paradox applies to the rest of Humboldt County. This area is rife with poorly maintained roads, schools that appear to be dilapidated, and underfunded municipal services. On paper, Humboldt is one of the poorest counties in California, with a poverty rate well above the national average. And yet, the hills of this region are dotted with multimillion-dollar cannabis farms. So what gives?

Honsal says a big part of the problem is the banking industry, which is federally regulated, and still largely inaccessible to cannabis related businesses. Simply put, banks have long shunned marijuana money, fearing federal consequences. “Where can they put this money?” said Honsal.

“Lots of money’s leaving here. It’s going all over the world. There are people here that have invested in marijuana here so they can support industry elsewhere. I’ve heard of people buying houses in the Grand Caymans. I’ve heard of people buying property in South America with their marijuana money,” Honsal said.

 

LOS ANGELES

Title: Buying pot on New Year’s Day? Santa Ana is L.A.’s closest option

Author: LA Times

Date: 1 January 2018

URL: http://beta.latimes.com/business/la-fi-cannabis-santa-ana-20171231-story.html

Extract: Seven cannabis dispensaries there will be able to start selling pot to California adults Monday morning — and they’ll be the only such shops open for business in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Permits for those shops were issued over the weekend as state and local officials, and cannabis business owners, sprint toward the opening of California’s legal cannabis market.

As of Friday afternoon, the state had issued 47 permits for recreational marijuana retailers, and two shops in West Hollywood were the only ones in Greater Los Angeles. Those shops, plus a third West Hollywood dispensary licensed over the weekend, won’t open until Tuesday.

That makes Santa Ana the only New Year’s Day option, unless buyers are willing to trek to San Diego or the Palm Springs area, where several shops are licensed to begin recreational sales on Monday.

 

SONOMA COUNTY

Title: Brave new world: Legal pot sales begin Jan. 1 in Sonoma County

Author: Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Date: 1 January 2018

URL: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/7808362-181/brave-new-world-legal-pot?artslide=0

Extract:  Starting Monday, adults can buy cannabis without physician recommendations at some dispensaries in the state. In Sonoma County, the doors are opening to anyone 21 and older at two dispensaries in Sebastopol and a third in Cotati.

Jan. 1 is the start of a new era for California’s projected $7 billion cannabis marketplace — the nation’s largest — one being reshaped by taxes and bureaucracy, shedding the trappings of its outlaw roots. On the North Coast, officials and industry leaders hope to capitalize on the Emerald Triangle’s historic role as the state’s prime cannabis-growing region built over generations.

“The era of Prohibition is over. The voice of the voter won the day and recreational cannabis will now be legal,” said State Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, whose North Coast district runs from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border. “This is going to be the largest cannabis market in North America that has been brought out of the shadows and into the light of a regulated system.”