In Most of California, Recreational Marijuana Will be Delayed
Good things come to those who wait. That’s certainly the case here in California where the majority of cities and counties are putting the breaks on recreational weed and stalling the long-anticipated fulfillment of Prop. 64.
If you’re a regular reader of CalMarijuanaPolicy.org, you’ve already caught wind of this trend. Now, it’s becoming more obvious to the public at large.
It’s become clear in recent weeks that most cities around the Bay Area, as well as the rest of the state, will not be ready to permit recreational cannabis sales early next year when a proposition legalizing pot use goes live. That will leave only a few scattered exceptions — likely including Emeryville and Santa Cruz — where officials expect to be ready for recreational sales by the first of January.
Under Proposition 64, which passed with 57 percent of the vote last November, state officials will begin issuing permits on Jan. 1, allowing businesses to sell pot to Californians age 21 and older. But unlike in Colorado and Washington, where the first days of legalization were met with fanfare and created long lines at pot dispensaries, that date won’t mean much in California.
Stores can’t actually sell recreational marijuana unless they get permits from both the state and their local city — and many cities around the Bay Area are dragging their feet. A quick survey around the region found that it’s possible that no city in the Bay Area will be ready to start issuing permits for commercial sales of marijuana in the first days of 2018.
Many municipalities are still awaiting final regulations from the state before they solidify their own. Some have passed blanket bans. Until cities and counties feel comfortable enough to craft, draft and implement local ordinances for recreational pot sales, smokers in a number of towns will be limited to smoking what they can grow at home.