Select retailers will begin engaging in adult use marijuana sales on the morning of Monday, January 1. California joins Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington in permitting cannabis sales to those over the age of 21.
Two additional states – Maine and Massachusetts – permit adults to legally possess and grow cannabis, but have yet to enact regulations permitting the plant’s commercial cultivation and sale.
Under California law, retailers must possess a state license and also be compliant with local regulations. Numerous municipalities — including Berkeley, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles — have approved local regulations to permit marijuana retailers. Existing medical cannabis dispensaries are allowed to engage in adult use sales if they possess dual licensing.
“The rollout of legalized retail marijuana sales for adults in California marks another watershed moment for the movement to reform our nation’s marijuana laws,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said. “As is often the case, California will continue its role as a political bellwether state. It’s successful implementation of adult use regulation will inspire further states to follow its lead.”
Separate regulations governing the production, testing, packaging, and sale of medical cannabis also take effect on January 1. The regulations are the first broad set of rules governing medical cannabis production in California since voters approved of the practice in 1996.