California Weed

Which city leads the state in number of retail pot shops? (Hint: It’s not L.A. or S.F.)

'We've waited a long time:' Sacramento customers purchase recreational marijuana legally for the first time

Customers purchased recreational weed legally for the first time in California at A Therapeutic Alternative in East Sacramento on Jan. 1, 2018.
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Customers purchased recreational weed legally for the first time in California at A Therapeutic Alternative in East Sacramento on Jan. 1, 2018.

Sacramento has more retail cannabis shops than any other city in California, which is the largest retail marijuana market in the country.

According to recent records from the state Bureau of Cannabis Control, Sacramento has 15 dispensaries licensed to sell recreational weed to adults 21 and over, followed by San Diego with 13, San Francisco with nine and Cathedral City with eight.

These figures will change as the bureau continues to process license applications. Dispensaries in some places, notably Los Angeles and San Francisco, lagged in the application process because local officials did not approve their own regulations as early as Sacramento and other cities.

Sacramento dispensaries still have pending applications with the state. The city has approved local permits for 23 dispensaries wanting to sell retail weed.

San Francisco and Sacramento have both capped the number of retail establishments at 30, meaning they could end up with a similar number of approved stores.

But Los Angeles is almost certain to end up as the king of retail marijuana sales in California. While the state has yet to approve any licenses there, the city has hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries.

Budtender Danny Cress gives a crash course in recreational marijuana, legal in California as of Jan. 1.

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