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First licenses of recreational pots issued to sellers in California

LOS ANGELES – California's legal marijuana market is finally taking shape irregularly.

The state issued on Thursday the first batch of commercial licenses to sell and transport marijuana for recreational use, only 18 days before legal sales begin. January 1

The 20 temporary licenses, some of which correspond to the previously existing medical marijuana industry, represent a fraction of the thousands of licenses that are expected to be followed since the state adopts the legal herb in 2018 ] but his release triggered the joy.

"I could not be more excited," said Jordan Lams, CEO of Moxie, whose parent company Pure CA received the first distributor license.

At Torrey Holistics in San Diego, Tony Hall attributed his business experience and detailed application to obtaining the first license from a retail store to sell recreational marijuana. The store, which has two certified public accountants, a financial director and a marketing director, presented a lease of 60 pages, diagrams and a detailed business plan.

"I think it's the way we conduct our business, we all have a professional background," said Hall, the former owner of a chemical distribution company that opened the medical marijuana store two years ago with a friend of the university.

See recreational marijuana taking off such as the wine and craft beer industries.

In their store, Customers go through an electronic security gate attended by a guard. Once inside, the business looks like an elegant pharmacy with wooden floors and Christmas decorations.

"The taboo part is going to be removed slowly and this is going to be like any other business," Hall said.

In general, California will treat cannabis as alcohol, allowing people 21 years of age or older to legally possess up to an ounce and grow six marijuana plants at home.

The path to legalization began last year when voters approved Proposition 64, which opened the way for marijuana sales to adults in the nation's most populous state, home to one in eight Americans.

A mosaic of rules has arisen in some cities that include legal sales and others that prohibit commercial marijuana activity.

Companies expect it to take time for society to adapt to the legality of marijuana.

"California has been without regulations for a long time, so there is going to be a transition period," he added, referring to the changes that will take place in 2018 with legal c. ultivation and sales.

Beginning in January, newly legalized recreational sales will merge with the two-decade state medical marijuana market that is also under much stronger regulation.

The state and hundreds of cities have been struggling to design rules to govern the vast and emerging industry with a projected value of $ 7 billion. The state's online system for applying for a license was opened just a week ago.

To date, more than 1,900 users have registered with the online system and more than 200 applications have been sent. The figures suggest that many retailers and producers are holding back. According to some estimates, only Humboldt County has up to 15,000 unregulated marijuana growers.

In the background there is a generalized uncertainty about whether the administration of President Donald Trump will attempt to intervene in states where marijuana is legal.

Because marijuana is illegal in the eyes of the federal government, the major banks are wary of doing business with dispensaries and growers, since much of the business is done in cash.

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