Beginning January 1, adults 21 and over in California will be permitted to use marijuana for recreation, yet the state’s transition from medical cannabis to adult-use is still incomplete. And even with a successful implementation, risks still remain that the Trump Administration, which seems intent on thwarting blue states, may throw a stick in the wheels of California’s attempt to end marijuana prohibition.
Estimates place the size of California’s cannabis market at over $7 billion. Moving from a patchwork, often hands off, approach to regulation to a strict regulatory compliance scheme will likely not be painless. The state is still struggling to implement an interconnected framework covering both medicinal, which dates back to 1996, and adult use (recreational).
And though there is a lot to be done at the state level, there are also a host of local issues. Cities like Oakland, Los Angeles, and Sacramento are working on “social equity programs” to ensure that the communities most decimated by the war on drugs are able to take advantage of the legalized market.