Concerns About Recreational Marijuana in California

While California was at one time the most progressive state in terms of medical marijuana legalization, as it was the first state to allow for such an unheard of thing in 1996, there are other states, and the District of Columbia, that have legalized marijuana for adult recreational use.  However, it should be noted that California is expected to far outpace the rest of the country in terms of the money being made once recreational marijuana becomes legal in 2018.

medical marijuana lawyerA recent article from The Union discusses how that fact that California was not first to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults might not be such a bad thing, because we will get to learn from some of the problems and “pitfalls” other states had when they first legalized recreational marijuana. The article begins with a trip to a marijuana dispensary in Nevada where there are around 65 customers waiting the shop to open to open in the morning.  It was actually open at midnight and stayed open for six hours, but then had to close for three hours due to state law.  As it was closed, customers lined up outside, so they could buy marijuana as soon as it opened. There is clearly a lot of business in the cannabis industry.  This was primarily a medical marijuana dispensary but it was converted to one that could also sell marijuana to anyone for recreational use.

Part of this was the fact that it had just become legal for the sale of marijuana for recreational use, and, as one customer put it, he had been waiting over 18 years to be able to legally buy pot, so this was clearly a big day for him and many others.  He said he was tired of meeting people in a parking lot while at the same time, hoping that he would not be arrested.  One person in the line said it was the same for him except he had been waiting 40 years to be able to buy marijuana legally.

This was not the only dispensary around the state with long lines, and there was much chaos in the process due to numerous lawsuits. There was a major lawsuit by alcohol distributors who wanted a monopoly on delivery of marijuana to dispensaries. As it turns out, the alcohol lobby has tremendous power nationally and is able to lobby and use lawsuits to get their way much of the time.  They have also been successful on the federal level on controlling the distribution of alcohol at the expense of craft brewers.  The reason they care is because they are owned by the major distilleries and breweries in the U.S.

As discussed in this article, and as our Orange County marijuana business attorneys can explain, one of the major of concerns will be with permitting for the supply chain.  There are plenty of farmers willing to grow marijuana in our state, plus indoor grow operations, but permits will be required, and they may be hard to come by.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:

California may not suffer same pitfalls as Nevada with recreational marijuana, but still plenty to learn, July 2, 2017, The Union

More Blog Entries:
Report: Colorado Marijuana Laws May Not be Safe, Feb. 5, 2017, L.A. Marijuana Lawyer Blog