Anticipation High as California Rolls Out
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('Anticipation High as California Rolls Out');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

Anticipation High as California Rolls Out
Posted by CN Staff on December 31, 2017 at 11:21:10 PT
By The Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press
Los Angeles -- Californians may awake on New Year’s Day to a stronger-than-normal whiff of marijuana as America’s cannabis king lights up to celebrate the state’s first legal retail pot sales.The historic day comes more than two decades after California paved the way for legal weed by passing the nation’s first medical marijuana law, though other states were quicker to allow the drug’s recreational use.
From the small town of Shasta Lake just south of Oregon to San Diego on the Mexican border, the first of about six dozen shops licensed by the state will open Monday to customers who previously needed a medical reason or a dope dealer to score pot.In November 2016, California voters legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older, making it legal to grow six plants and possess an ounce of pot. The state was given a year to set retail market regulations that are still being formalized and will be phased in over the next year.“We’re thrilled,” said Khalil Moutawakkil, founder of KindPeoples, which grows, manufactures and sells weed in Santa Cruz. “We can talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of the specific regulations, but at the end of the day it’s a giant step forward, and we’ll have to work out the kinks as we go.”The long, strange trip to get here has been a frustrating one for advocates of a drug that in the federal government’s eyes remains illegal and in a class with heroin.The state banned “loco-weed” in 1913, according to a history by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the pot advocacy group known as NORML. The first attempt to undo that by voter initiative in 1972 failed, but three years later felony possession of less than an ounce was downgraded to a misdemeanor.In 1996, over objections of law enforcement, the drug czar under President Bill Clinton and three former presidents who warned it was an enormous threat to the public health of “all Americans,” California voters approved marijuana for medicinal purposes.While the rollout of grassroots collectives of growers and dispensaries where marijuana could be sold to patients was at times messy, the law led to wider acceptance of the drug as medicine.“The heavens didn’t fall,” said Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML. “We didn’t see increased youth drug abuse or increased accidents or crazy things happening as our opponents predicted.”Today, 28 other states have adopted similar laws. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana. California is one of five states, plus Washington, D.C., that followed suit. Retail sales are scheduled to begin in Massachusetts in July.With wider acceptance, the aroma of marijuana smoke has become more pervasive in parts of California, and use accelerated after the legalization vote.Even with other states as models for what works and what can go wrong as marijuana strains known as Sweet Skunk, Trainwreck and Russian Assassin hit the street, the next year is expected to be a bumpy one as more shops open and more stringent regulations take effect.The California Police Chiefs Association, which opposed the ballot measure, remains concerned about stoned drivers, the appeal the drug will have for young people as it becomes more normalized, and the cost of policing the new rules in addition to an existing black market.“There’s going to be a public health cost and a public safety cost enforcing these new laws and regulations,” said Jonathan Feldman, a legislative advocate for the chiefs. “It remains to be seen if this can balance itself out.”For consumers, the most surprising revelation may be the dearth of places to get ganja. In theory, buying a joint, loose weed or a hash brownie should be as easy as finding a craft beer, but options are few as some cities have rejected retail sales and others have taken a more mellow approach toward licensing operations.Pot-friendly San Francisco, a counter-culture hub where marijuana smoke has been a fixture for half a century, was late to establish local regulations and won’t have any retail outlets open for business until later in the week. It’s a similar situation in Los Angeles.Meantime, Fresno, Riverside, Anaheim, Bakersfield and all of surrounding Kern County have prohibited pot shops, and Long Beach has a temporary ban.For shop owners lucky enough to receive temporary licenses from the state and clear local red tape, anticipation is high.Will Senn, founder of Urbn Leaf in San Diego, said the shop’s four phone lines have been ringing off the hook for three months, but he’s not sure what to expect when doors open at 7 a.m. with extra security and more than 60 employees at the ready for sales and deliveries.“We’re preparing for the worst and hoping for the best,” Senn said. “We never want lines out the door and around the block. That’s not what we’re trying to accomplish here.”Shops at first will be able to sell marijuana harvested without the regulatory controls that eventually will require extensive testing for potency, pesticides and other contaminants. A program to track all pot from seed to sales also will be phased in, along with other protections such as child-proof containers for pot products.Pot shop founder Jamie Garzot said she’s concerned that when the current crop dries up, she’ll encounter a shortage of marijuana that meets state regulations. The irony is that her 530 Cannabis shop in Shasta Lake is close to some of California’s most productive growing areas, yet most of the surrounding counties won’t allow cultivation that could supply her.“Playing in the gray market is not an option,” Garzot said. “California produces more cannabis than any state in the nation, but going forward, if it’s not from a state-licensed source, I can’t put it on my shelf. If I choose to do so, I run the risk of losing my license.”In 2016, the state produced an estimated 13.5 million pounds of pot, and 80 percent was illegally shipped out of state, according to a report prepared for the state by ERA Economics, an environmental and agricultural consulting firm. Of the remaining 20 percent, only a quarter was sold legally for medicinal purposes.That robust black market is expected to continue to thrive, particularly as taxes and fees raise the cost of retail pot by as much as 70 percent.Matt Brancale, 47, a marijuana user since the 1980s and a connoisseur of the plant’s flowery buds, said he welcomes regulations that will bring a higher-quality product because of required testing. But he fears the price could spike once the government takes its share, and worries that revenue will be misspent.“I also don’t want to get taxed to the teeth on it,” he said. “Are they going to try to squeeze every last ounce of tax revenue out of it? I assume they will. There’s people that are drooling in Sacramento with the potential resource money.”Source: Associated Press (Wire) Published: December 31, 2017Copyright: 2017 The Associated PressCannabisNews  -- Cannabis Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #16 posted by FoM on January 02, 2018 at 06:59:15 PT
It felt like a heat wave at 4 this morning! LOL! I am so happy that the most populated state in the Nation has legalized Marijuana! As California goes so goes the whole USA!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #15 posted by Hope on January 01, 2018 at 23:08:33 PT
It's cold here, too, FoM.
Just in the teens though. But like you, I'm blessed with a warm home and good health, and my heart is warm and filled with hope for this year.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by FoM on January 01, 2018 at 15:26:19 PT
Thank you and Happy New Year! We have won but the powers that be just have to understand that we have!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by Soupherb on January 01, 2018 at 12:27:14 PT:
2018 Already
It seems like yesterday I tried my first hit of herb before teen center with live bands in the day at every high school in town (Baltimore).
Prohibitionists live and die. Cannabis will be around forever!Thanks FOM, I don't believe any of the truth comes out without the Net and your help.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #12 posted by FoM on January 01, 2018 at 05:25:27 PT
Happy New Year 2018
We are winning and they can trip us up but they will never turn back the clock. Have a wonderful day. It is -5 right now but my heart is nice and warm and happy!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by BGreen on January 01, 2018 at 01:40:57 PT
Happy New Year!
I can't help but to credit our collective energy over these many years when I see freedom escaping from the control of hatred, narrow-mindedness and controlling ignorance.I understand how it may seem as if we're still under their tight grasp because of the extreme nature of the liars and haters (Trump, et al.,) but that tight grip is actually the desperate grasp of a mindset that is clinging to the edge of a cliff, with only their fingertips preventing the entire bigoted, antiquated collection of hatred and hate-mongers from extinction.Sliding, sliding, sliding ... gone!We should continue to ignore the threats of the soon-to-be-out-of-power-forever haters and keep our focus solely on legalization in the rest of the States.Thank you, my CNews family. We never gave up or gave in, and we sure aren't stopping now.Bud
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by Hope on December 31, 2017 at 21:05:06 PT
If I didn't have a party to throw tomorrow
I'd stay up until 7 am California time and see an entirely new era ushered in on the West Coast. I'm thankful. Very thankful.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by Hope on December 31, 2017 at 21:02:24 PT
It really is the 2018 on the East Coast
Happy New Year, FoM, Stick, and everyone else out there! Still got about fifty eight minutes to go here.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by Hope on December 31, 2017 at 21:00:36 PT
A long, long time ago...
2001: A Year in the Life of Marijuana ProhibitionPosted by FoM on January 07, 2002 at 22:08:13 PT
By Kevin Nelson, AlterNet
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by FoM on December 31, 2017 at 16:22:50 PT
Happy New Year Everyone
What a long strange trip it's been! I am so happy for California! Wishing you all the best year ever! Love you all!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by Hope on December 31, 2017 at 16:08:58 PT
Besides Happy New Year!!!!
I want to say, "Thank You", to you guys that stay around after your state legalized and helped keep the rant alive for those of us that are living in the hinterlands of legalization.Thank you.Happy New Year! In six hours or so. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by Hope on December 31, 2017 at 15:51:04 PT
This is serendipitous. Looking at some older Cannabis News posts I ran on to this one, ending with a comment you made to me about five years ago that I have somehow missed. Obviously, that was a good idea and is truly beneficial positive thinking. Sounds to me like.On the other hand, the article was relating some of John Walters' activities as America's Czar. He had that hatred, anger, and power thing down.Drug Czar Visits Canada Wants Tougher War on Pot
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by Hope on December 31, 2017 at 15:36:38 PT
An "Oldie" but a "Goodie"
Don't fail to check out the comments.Fighting Cheech & Chong MedicinePosted by FoM on July 26, 2000 at 21:56:00 PT
By Daniel Forbes 
Source: Salon Magazine
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by afterburner on December 31, 2017 at 14:54:55 PT
Pesticide Restrictions Should Soon Apply to Food 
Happy New Year, everybody! Now, when are all foods going to be subject to the same controls on pesticides? Is it really alright to ingest pesticides in food, but taboo to to toke, vaporize or eat cannabis with pesticides? Thanks to the revolving door between Big Agriculture and the FDA, today's food supply is drenched in chemicals, sprayed with increasing frequency by many of the younger farmers.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on December 31, 2017 at 13:58:01 PT
Happy New Year to all!
It seems we are finally winning this draconian authoritarianism (state sponsored, decreed against our will, based on money, prejudice and racism) over injustice, but it's taking several generations for many reasons!Have a good 2018 All!Thank you FoM, again!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by The GCW on December 31, 2017 at 11:51:31 PT
FoM & friends,
Happy New Year.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment