San Diego Cannabis Stores Brace For New Year's High

Friday, December 29, 2017
By Andrew Bowen
Photo by Kris Arciaga / KPBS
Above: A jar containing dried cannabis flower sits on the shelf at Torrey Holistics dispensary, Dec. 28, 2017.

Torrey Holistics was one of the first cannabis dispensaries in California to get a temporary license to sell adult use marijuana this month. Now the store is gearing up for a wave of new business on Monday as that license becomes valid and adult use sales become legal.

"On January 1st we're expecting a lot of people, hopefully," general manager Christine Bordenave said with a laugh. "We're excited for adult use sales to start."

The Sorrento Valley business is bringing in food trucks and live music to celebrate legalization on New Year's Day, and will have extra security on site to direct traffic and organize customers waiting in line.

RELATED: San Diego Gains Early Lead In Cannabis Retail Licenses

For years medical cannabis has been fairly easy for Californians to access — the state has developed a whole cottage industry of doctors whose business is almost exclusively writing recommendations for medical cannabis. Still, Bordenave said she is expecting business to grow.

"A lot of people have been nervous to be part of the medical cannabis community, but with adult use sales they'll be able to come in freely and purchase cannabis and try new products," Bordenave said. "I really think there's going to be a huge surge of new patients."

Customers will have to wait until they get home to smoke or eat any cannabis products they buy in the new year — public consumption is still illegal.

San Diego officials are working through applications for "marijuana production facilities" that will cultivate, process, distribute and test cannabis and its byproducts before they reach the shelves.