Long Beach begins recreational marijuana sales

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Saturday, September 1, 2018
Long Beach begins recreational marijuana sales
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Long Beach is tapping into the growing cannabis industry with the opening of the city's first four legal dispensaries.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Long Beach is tapping into the growing cannabis industry now that recreational marijuana is legal in California.

The first four legal dispensaries have opened for business.

It has taken months for the city to get all of the rules and regulations worked out.

For instance, no more than 32 retail storefronts are allowed in the city and products cannot be seen from the outside.

"We allow for up to 32 retail storefronts in our city, but that excludes the other business types: cultivators, manufacturers, distributors, lab testers," Ajay Kolluri, Long Beach cannabis program manager, said. "For those business types we don't have a cap."

Kolluri said even though recreational marijuana sales were legalized eight months ago, Long Beach is moving slowly, making sure access to marijuana is safe, and even at that speed, Kolluri said the city is still ahead of the curve.

"The city of Long Beach is actually an early adopter of marijuana," Kolluri said. "I'd say about 80 percent of California cities are still not allowing marijuana sales."

With one year of medicinal marijuana sales behind it, Kolluri said the city has had heard few complaints related to pot sales.

Spotting the dispensaries isn't easy. City rules don't allow any of the products to be seen from outside. The new industry is still grappling with marijuana's checkered reputation.

If you do plan to visit a dispensary there are two things you need to bring: an ID showing you're at least 21 years old and cash. Because of federal laws, credit cards aren't accepted.