2018-01-02 — washingtonpost.com
Ceremonial ribbon cuttings marked the occasion Monday as the nation's biggest producer of illicit marijuana moved from the shadows toward a regulated market. Freebies and food greeted those who waited in long lines to get their hands on weed with names like "Oh Geezus" and "Banana Breath."
First-day sales were brisk in shops lucky enough to score one of the roughly 100 state licenses issued so far, but would-be customers in some of the state's largest cities encountered reefer sadness.
Riverside and Fresno outlawed sales and Los Angeles and San Francisco didn't act soon enough to authorize shops to get state licenses by New Year's Day.
The state and local governments still have a lot of work ahead to get the massive industry running that is projected to bring in $1 billion annually in tax revenue within several years.
Regulators at the Bureau of Cannabis Control worked through the holiday to try to process 1,400 pending license applications for retail sales, distribution, testing facilities and other businesses, bureau spokesman Alex Traverso said.
A flood of applications for shops in LA and San Francisco is expected after being approved locally. Because Los Angeles is the biggest market in the state, some of those shops will be licensed by the state more quickly than others already in line, Traverso said.
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