Many major California cities have yet to approve dispensaries for operation starting in 2018. But with over 30 retail shops across the state licensed for recreational sales so far, most Californians should still be just a short drive away from making an historical purchase on Jan. 1.
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen California voted to legalize adult use cannabis in 2016, it immediately became legal for adults over the age of 21 to possess small amounts of marijuana, consume it in private, grow six plants at home and give cannabis as a gift to other adults. Legally purchasing cannabis, however, remained strictly prohibited for those who lacked a medical recommendation — prohibited until Jan. 1, 2018, that is.
Today, as the historic deadline for recreational sales finally peaks out from around the corner of a single weekend, plenty of Californians and lucky out-of-state travelers are deliberating how they will spend their New Year’s Day. While cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles have failed to license any dispensaries in time, cities like San Diego and San Jose have licensed more than a handful of retail options for cannabis consumers, offering both choice California-grade offerings for first-time smokers and die-hard aficionados alike.
For the canna-curious, California NORML has published a useful interactive map that includes all of the adult recreational use dispensaries licensed thus far in the state of California. The NORML branch has been updating the map, and also includes those dispensaries that have pending licensing with an asterisk next to their name.
As the map shows, California now has recreational dispensaries sprinkled over a thousand kilometers up and down the state, from the state’s most southern point (one San Diego dispensary is just two blocks from the U.S.-Mexico border) to the redwood forests in the far north (the City of Mount Shasta has three adult-use dispensaries that will open on Jan. 1).
Keep refreshing the map over the next few days, and more dispensaries should appear. For those who don’t want to drive too far for recreational pot, remember: The state’s medical marijuana program is still operating, and there are benefits to keeping your state-issued medical marijuana card as California’s legal industry gets rolling, including the ability to visit medical-only dispensaries. Or, for those who are too tired to spend their holiday traveling to a shop, the state has also licensed three adult-use delivery services, including Community Gardens in Oakland, Ohana Gardens in Sacramento and Big Moon Sky across the state wherever it is permitted.
TELL US, what are your plans for New Year’s Day?