It’s all happening…IT’S REALLY HAPPENING!

This weekend marks the last Friday and Saturday (okay, Sunday, too you everyday smokers) when California adults will have to worry about calling themselves criminals when spark up at parties, shows, or other spaces of entertainment.

Monday, January 1st, 2018 marks the age of a new era – that of legal cannabis for adults.

A quick scan of the news both locally and nationally will show how giddy with excitement the change is for consumers, entrepreneurs and curious onlookers. Truly, bringing the country’s largest economy online with legalization is one of the greatest moments of social reform that many of us could see in our lifetimes.

Unfortunately though, this will not be a seamless transition.

USA Today reports:

“While five other states already offer legal marijuana sales, the Golden State’s sheer size is expected to reshape the pot industry worldwide, potentially driving down prices for consumers while generating hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. It also holds the promise of wiping out criminal records for some people with previous cannabis convictions and helping longtime illegal drug dealers go legal by getting them licensed.”

“…Many longtime cannabis farmers are struggling with whether to go legal, in part because getting licensed can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Additionally, many longtime marijuana moonshiners are culturally opposed to playing by the rules. For generations, they have secretly grown vast quantities of pot destined for black-market users across America.”

Chiah Rodriques, operations director for a cannabis collective called Mendocino Generations, lamented today in an op-ed to the Washington Post that he is fearful his simple way of life is about to end.

“We knew that our secret lifestyle was unique and that it was also illegal and scary at times. We had to live a sort of undercover existence that our grandparents would cringe at if they knew their grandchildren lived barefoot and dirty, homeschooled and unruly in the hills, while our parents grew, trimmed and sold cannabis.

“We never imagined that the biggest threat to our lifestyle could be legalization. But the new regulations allow unlimited growing licenses, which means venture capitalists will be able to create mega-cannabis corporations. The market is already flooded with cannabis from neighboring states. We’re about to see a tsunami hit California.”

The growing pains for this new industry are being felt deep and wide. And thus far, only a few locations in the state are even going to be ready to sell on the legal adult market on Monday. GreenState.com has put together this nifty little map to show what places have been approved to join the legal market next week.

There are surprisingly few, in my opinion, so we will be watching closely as localities move forward in the coming months to parse out this bureaucratic mess. Regardless of who ends up cornering the market(s) and who feels the reality of failed business enterprise, it’s still better than seeing good people go to prison and maybe finally adults can stop feeling so paranoid when they consume cannabis.

The International Cannabis Business Conference has you covered on all things California! Join the experts on February 1-2, 2018 in San Francisco for the most current in cannabis changes. Early bird tickets are on sale now!