San Francisco: California has begun its first historic legal sales of recreational marijuana, inaugurating a milestone move with projections pointing to a turnover of at least $7 billion a year.
Lines formed outside stores licensed to sell the drug long before opening hours on Monday and store owners said they had stocked up in expectation of huge demand.
At Harborside dispensary in Oakland, hundreds lined up to be the first to buy the legal weed.
California is the sixth US state to allow sales of recreational marijuana, and as the nation’s most populous state, it is widely seen as a tremendous boost to mainstreaming marijuana.
The California industry is forecast to reach $7 billion in a few years, more than the $6.6 billion of the entire legal cannabis market in the US in 2016, according to New Frontier Data.
California adults aged 21 and older can possess as much as an ounce and grow up to six plants at home.
Massachusetts will begin selling retail marijuana on July 1. Maine has approved it, but there is no set date to begin sales.
Other states that allow the sale of recreational marijuana are Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Nevada.
More retail shops are certain to open soon in California.