Experts: California Isn’t Ready for Legal Pot Sales

There are just two months to go now until marijuana sales are officially legal in California. But despite ‘round the clock efforts by state and local officials, most people in the know are expecting a you-know-what show come January.

“The bulk of folks probably are not going to be ready Jan. 1,” said Cara Martinson of the California State Association of Counties.

Many agree.

The state still hasn’t released its final rules for the marketplace. That has left cities and counties in the lurch. Facing an uncertain future, a number of them have put the kibosh on marijuana altogether.

As Time Magazine notes, the local patchwork of laws could pose a problem.

Adam Spiker, executive director of the Southern California Coalition, an industry group, warned last month that L.A.’s draft rules could upend the emerging industry by failing to provide a prompt way to license suppliers, potentially forcing then to shut down. And he’s dubious that the city will be ready to begin issuing licenses on Jan. 1.

“There’s not a lot of calendar days left in the year,” he said.

San Francisco, another city that strongly supports legalization, still is debating local rules. Again, it’s uncertain what will be ready, or when.

“What we want to do is bring everything into the daylight, regulate it, get fees for the cost of regulation and collect taxes as appropriate,” said county Supervisor Jeff Sheehy.

Then there’s the banking problems we’ve discussed at length before.

This won't be easy.