Here's where you'll be able to buy recreational weed in California on January 1st
Leafly has posted a great list of what cities will have recreational weed in California when it goes legal officially (finally!) on January 1, 2018. Licenses for business are being accepted now, but because the process was only put in place recently, some businesses won't be able to open right away, and some towns won't necessarily have agreed to allow cannabis within their borders. That said, however, things are changing all the time, and more businesses will likely be opening as 2018 goes on. Additionally, in places like Colorado and Oregon, we've seen towns that originally didn't want to sell product change their minds when they see what the actual effects are, so this list definitely isn't final.
And it's important to note that most California businesses that already serve medicinial marijuana will likely continue to do so, so if you already have a card and a favorite dispensary, you don't need to switch around just yet. With the high taxes on recreational products and the new rules around selling them, it might be good to stick with what you know, at least until the furor dives down.
If you're just looking for recreational cannabis, however, here's where you'll find it. In terms of stores, Big Moon Sky is looking to deliver statewide, so that's always a possibility no matter where you live. In San Diego, Torrey Holistics will be open for business, and up north there are stores in Santa Cruz, Berkeley, and San Jose. There's no official stores in Los Angeles yet, but the city is accepting licenses, so odds are that you'll be able to find something there soon.
Other cities that have approved recreational sales: San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento, Oakland, Santa Ana, Riverside, San Bernadino, and Modesto. Other cities are planning to allow recreational sales but don't have the law ready quite yet, and some of those approved cities are lagging a bit, so stores might not be open right away (but may be available as soon as January 5 or 6).
So there will be plenty of places to pick up something no matter where you are, especially if you're patient enough to wait a week or two.
Our own discussions with dispensary owners and growers have them predicting that there will be plenty of lines on day 1 (of course), and that there may even be a shortage. High taxes on recreational products and strict limits on how much product can be sold at a time has growers saying that there may be a black market. We'll have to see how this all plays out. The bottom line is that if you want recreational weed in California on January 1, you'll probably be able to get it, but you might have to drive for a while, wait in a long line, and then pay quite a bit for not a lot of product. According to what we've been told, that's probably how it will work for at least a month or so.