California will legalize recreational marijuana on January 1st, and many people have anxious that the state wouldn't be ready for the new year.
Altogether, nine companies received a total of 20 licenses from the BCC on Thursday.
California's Bureau of Cannabis Control, which oversees regulations for medical and adult marijuana use as well as regulatory oversight, issued the first business licenses for selling and transporting recreational pot.
"Last week, we officially launched our online licensing system, and today we're pleased to issue the first group of temporary licenses to cannabis businesses that fall under the Bureau's jurisdiction", Bureau of Cannabis Control Chief Lori Ajax said. "We plan to issue many more before January 1". The licenses that the dispensaries received will only be valid for 120 days, so these companies will have to move quickly to obtain permanent licenses in the new year.
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In addition to applying for a license with one of these three departments, cannabis entrepreneurs must also first register their companies with the California Secretary of State's office and apply for a local permit.
The Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch of the state's Department of Public Health licenses manufacturers of cannabis products, such as edibles.
Khalil Moutawakkil, the director of KindPeoples, said that he is overjoyed about ending cannabis prohibition, which disproportionally punished people of color and filled crowded jails with otherwise law-abiding citizens. "We look forward to serving every adult on January 1, and we thank the city and county of Santa Cruz, as well as the Bureau of Cannabis Control for their efforts to make this process as streamlined as possible". A note on the CalCannabis website says "currently we are not issuing state cannabis cultivation licenses". Many local governments, however, have either pushed back against adult-use cannabis or struggled to get their regulatory frameworks agreed upon fast enough.
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