Los Angeles passes marijuana regulations, set to become the biggest city in the US with legal weed
The day is almost upon us! On January 1, recreational marijuana is set to go legal in California, creating the largest recreational market in the country (and likely the world as well). Unfortunately, not every city in California has passed the local regulations needed to actually allow recreational dispensaries to open, but with a few weeks left, Los Angeles has finally passed the rules it needs to start selling.
The regulations are about what you'd imagine: Retail marijuana shops need to be in specific areas of the city (not around residential areas), and can't be near schools, public parks, or libraries. Stores also have to have pretty strict security measures, like video surveillance and electronic verification for customers. There are also rules about who gets marijuana business licenses: Los Angeles is prioritizing licenses for those who have been previously convicted of marijuana offenses and others from low-income communities affected by failed policies around the war on drugs. That's great, and should go a little way to making sure those most affected by marijuana prohibition get to benefit from its legalization.
Not all businesses will be ready and open to sell on January 1 -- the lateness of these rules means that some owners will need a little more time to get their paperwork in order and start selling. Still, there will undoubtedly be some businesses ready to go right away, and more will come later. California is set to be the biggest legal marijuana market yet, with a projected value of $7 billion, meaning the state will bring in $1 billion annually from the taxes.
It's great news all the way around. Elegant Stoner is based in San Diego, California, so we'll get to have a front row seat here during the new year, and we'll be sure to bring you some stories and photos from the big day. Can't wait!