California pot shops roll out hoopla as sales set to start
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Live music. Free T-shirts. A “Fweedom” celebration with mystery prize boxes worth up to $500, and a shot at a behind-the-scenes tour.
Marijuana legalization arrives Monday in California with lots of hoopla, but only a handful of cities will initially have retail outlets ready to sell recreational pot.
California has issued only about 40 retail licenses. Another 150 applications are pending and regulators planned to work a second straight weekend to review them.
Los Angeles and San Francisco were late to approve local regulations, meaning no pot shops will open their doors Monday.
The lucky few outlets with licenses — mainly in San Diego, the San Francisco Bay area, Palm Springs area and Santa Cruz and — think they have an edge being first out of the gate.
But excitement about California joining the growing list of states and Washington, D.C., with legal recreational weed is tempered with the stresses of ensuring shelves are stocked in the face of uncertain demand.