A handful of San Diego outlets saw brisk business as it became legal to sell recreational marijuana in California this week.
Hours after Urbn Leaf in the Bay Park neighborhood opened Monday, lines continued to form in front of the establishment.
One of the people at the store was Damon Monyer, who has a prescription for medical marijuana but wanted to be in line on the first day that recreational marijuana became legal.
“I want to see the people," he said. "I want to be part of the event. Really I just love it so much and believe in it so much that I want to be in its presence on the first day that people can get it on their own."
Los Angeles and San Francisco are expected to begin issuing licenses. Early in the first week, San Diego, San Jose and Oakland are the largest markets in California where you can buy marijuana without a doctor’s recommendation.
“I think the market is going to expand,” said Will Senn, the owner of Urbn Leaf. “A lot of people were waiting in the wings because it was actually illegal to purchase and they were scared of going on a list by getting their medical recommendation.”
The bulk of his early crowd was from out of state, suggesting San Diego may have another draw for tourists, Senn said.
“Just today I was helping people check in and pretty much every single person who walked in had an out of- state- ID, which was interesting,” Senn said.
Urbn Leaf was a medical marijuana dispensary. It was one of a small handful of shops in San Diego awarded recreational marijuana licenses that were available to begin selling January 1. Senn said he was caught off guard the by intensity of the first day rush. Long term, he expects to expand.