Recreational Marijuana Legalized in California, Authorities Worry About Driving Safety

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Companies in the cannabis industry have added almost $2 billion.in value since California dispensaries started to legally sell recreational marijuana on January 1.

Another issue? The digital system the state is using to regulate and track recreational marijuana sales just launched, and businesses have to be trained to input data before the state can make it mandatory, which could take months.

Two additional states - ME and MA - permit adults to legally possess and grow cannabis, but have yet to enact regulations permitting the plant's commercial cultivation and sale.

Those stores were among the lucky ones that received their sale licenses from the state and local officials on time, while other shops dpa spoke to said they were still waiting. These cities include the state's largest cities, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Shannon Luce operated a medical marijuana dispensary until the county banned medicinal cannabis sales eight years ago and shut it down.

The rule change comes more than two decades after California passed the country's first medical marijuana law.

"I'm an employed, functioning adult and I also smoke weed", said Tawny Bourque, a legal marijuana buyer.

"This is not about the legalization of recreational marijuana", he says.

Today, 29 USA states have legalized medical marijuana, while Coloradoand Washington became the first states in 2012 to legalize recreational use.

New Year's hangovers are set to be softened for pot smokers in California, as the state ushers in a new era of relaxed marijuana laws.

Nevertheless, the United States federal government continues to classify weed as a controlled substance, along with other drugs such as heroin and LSD.

Legalized marijuana is slated to become a $3.7 billion business in California in 2018 and grow to $5.1 billion in 2019 - comparable to the revenue generated by beer sales, Business Insider reported.

The Bureau of Cannabis Control issued about 200 licenses by the end of last week so sales will start to increase throughout the week, according to spokesman Alex Traverso.

State and local taxes add a hefty chunk to the price, and depending where it's bought, taxes can add as much as 45% to the cost. A study on the impact of marijuana legalization in Colorado found that fatal traffic accidents involving drivers who tested positive for marijuana more than doubled between 2013 (recreational marijuana legalization) and 2016.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will rescind a "hands-off" policy that allowed states to legalize marijuana use without federal intervention, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

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