Bob and Lonna Blodgett in April 2015 as they prepared to open Monterey Bay Alternative Medicine as a medical-marijuana dispensary and nonprofit. For cannabis advocates, Jan. 1 is a long-anticipated day: Recreational (or “adult-use” in bureaucratic parlance) marijuana is legal in California, after voters approved Proposition 64 last year. The California Bureau of Cannabis Control is the government entity responsible for implementing the rules of legal pot, and as of Monday morning, Jan. 1, has issued 94 temporary permits for adult-use sales to dispensaries around the state. (The temporary permits expire on May 1, giving the BCC more time to fine-tune its final regulations.) To get a state license for any side of the recreational cannabis business—distribution, retail (dispensaries), lab testing facilities, cannabis event coordination—an operator is first required to secure permission from their local jurisdiction. Four of the 94 permitted retailers to date are located in Monterey County: East of Eden (run by parent company Grupo Flor) in Salinas; Higher Level of Care at 10665 Merritt St. in Castroville; Monterey Bay Alternative Medicine at 800 Portola Drive in Del Rey Oaks; and Big Sur Canna+Botanicals 26352 Carmel Rancho Lane, in the Carmel Rancho shopping center off Highway 1 and Rio Road. Cannabis is now legal in California. Here’s what that means today.
thumbnail courtesy of montereycountyweekly.com