Booming business was reported Monday at San Diego pot stores, on the first day of legal recreational marijuana sales for those ages 21 and up in California.
One store, Urban Leaf in the Grant Hill neighborhood, reported it had been “slammed” with customers since opening at 7 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
The store had previously only handled medical marijuana prescribed by physicians. It is tucked away in an industrial park, near the interchange of Routes 15 and 94, across a freeway from a Costco and two miles east of downtown.
“We’ve been slammed since opening at 7 a.m.,” said Yousif. We have a line out the door right now. We expected it.
Yousif said about 250 people had visited the dispensary during its first four hours of operation on New Years Day.
The marijuana dispensary operator said he felt there was a lot of pent-up demand for the now-legal drug.
“I think it will be like this for at least a few months,” Yousif said. “Before, some people were reluctant to try it because they were concerned about getting a medical marijuana card. But now that it its legal, people are more willing to try it.”
Yousif cited a case in point.
“I had a lady who came in here today who hadn’t done marijuana in 30 years,” he said. “She said, ‘Now that it is recreational — I want to try it out again.’”
It’s estimated that between eight and 10 dispensaries in San Diego were licensed to sell marijuana for recreational use on Monday, with double that number having applied for a permit.
The first to get a permit locally and statewide was Torrey Holistics, located at 10671 Roselle Street in an industrial area between Interstates 5 and 805 in Sorrento Valley.
In November 2016, state voters passed an amendment legalizing recreational use of marijuana taking effect Jan. 1, 2018.
Since then the state of California established the Bureau of Cannabis Control to regulate sales, and many cities and counties passed zoning ordinances covering marijuana shops