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California Starts Recreational Pot Sales, Clients Jam Stores

January 2, 2018 1:21 p.m.

California Starts Recreational Pot Sales, Clients Jam Stores


Steve Walsh, KPBS reporter

Related Story: California Starts Recreational Pot Sales, Clients Jam Stores


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

I'm Alison St John in for Maureen Cavanaugh. Our top story today more than 20 years after Californians voted to make medicinal marijuana legal, you can walk into a store and buy cannabis legally whether you have a medical marijuana card or not. There are still not many licensed dispensaries opened. Most cities in San Diego County except the city of San Diego still ban them. Steve Walsh Mound long lines at the dispensary he visited yesterday called urban leaf. Inc. you for coming and Steve.
>> Thank you Allison.
>> What was the atmosphere he like quick
>> I would say celebratory. There were T-shirts that were advertising that recreational marijuana was now legal in the state of California. The place I went to, they were handing out free massages to those waiting in line to get there marijuana.
>> How many people were in line?
>> The lines were pretty long. It went across the parking lot. They would ebb and flow as people came in. According to the owner you have people, a handful of them, lining up at 5 AM and they didn't open up until 7 AM.
>> Were they coming from?
>> According to the owner, he said in the first hour they were open at 7 AM, he only checked five California drivers license. The rest were all from out-of-state.
>> I think the market will expand. A lot of people were waiting in the wings because it was illegal to actually purchase. They were scared of going on a list by getting their medical recommendation. Digressing those people come in to the shop. Just today I was helping check people in and pretty much every single person that walked in had an out-of-state ID.
>> That is amazing. It could help the San Diego tourism economy.
>> It will certainly help the state's bottom line because there's a lot of taxes involved. I'm originally from Indiana. I met a woman in line from Indiana. I asked if she came out here just for the marijuana tax she said not just for the marijuana, it's very cold in the Midwest so it's warm -- warm in Southern California.
>> It is worth noting, it is illegal to transport marijuana across state lines.
>> Indeed. Especially if you get on the flight and go to another part of the country. You won't be allowed to keep it in your bag.
>> What kind of products did you see on sale?
>> The full range. I'm not saying I'm a connoisseur, but there seems to be you have a lot of edibles and candies. There were vape pen's. There were drinks but I think they had sold out. There's a whole range of smokable all-natural marijuana.
>> If you walk into the store and you are surrounded by all the possibilities, how do you decide what it is that will suit you?
>> There are people who will kind of go through the list and sort of see what it is you like. Talk about how experienced you are with marijuana so they can pick out something that is maybe geared toward your certain tastes. There are things that will help you sleep. All sorts of different things.
>> There are people that can guide you because it's still illegal to try it in the store is in it?
>> We filmed one of the consultants who is going through and talking to a couple of his clients who are from out-of-state. I think they were from New York and they had just been recently in Washington DC which also has recreational marijuana.
>> You guys want to try an editable? There 100 milligrams of peace. I wouldn't recommend eating the whole thing paid that whole thing. These things are very fun.
>> Let's throw one of those in there.
>> They are $12.50. They stay true to their milligrams.
>> Everything is packaged right? Is no loose grass around? Payment it comes in a childproof package that looks a lot like a pencil pouts from school. It's got a walk. A couple people after they purchased the marijuana had to go back and talk to one of the consultants to figure out how to open up the package.
>> What was security like?
>> It's kind of like three levels. Imagine a long line outside and you get into the alcove. Imagine a movie theater. That's where they are behind glass and they check your ID. You go through security and there's another line is you get up your particular consultant. So you know there's a fair amount. It's not as simple as just walking up to a counter.
>> The under think the demand will keep up? Payment the owner was quite surprised they had as much business as they did considering marijuana has been legal here since the 1990s. He was overwhelmed he hadn't brought on as many people as he needed. It was about four times what the normal Monday would bring in he expects things will expand. He expects he will expand himself over the next several months and years. As marijuana becomes much more the normal in California.
>> Thank you for giving us a taste of the first day of legal sales of marijuana in San Diego. This is one of the many changes to California laws this year. Been Bradford spoke with Midday Edition host Maureen Cavanaugh about new loss.
>> Welcome to the program.
>> Thank you for having me.