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Marijuana in California

Marijuana in California

The Golden State has joined a small but growing list of states to legalize recreational marijuana use. As of 6 a.m. local time Monday, licensed retailers were legally allowed to begin selling the substance to customers age 21 and up.

And they didn’t lack for customers.

The day comes more than a year after California voters passed Proposition 64, which mostly decriminalized marijuana there. Previously, the state had only allowed sale and possession of the substance for medicinal use.

Still, even with weed legalized, it bears its fair share of regulations. The state has set up a specific agency, the Bureau of Cannabis Control, to grant and monitor licenses to retailers. Adults over 21 can only possess a maximum of one ounce of bud and up to eight grams of concentrates, and they cannot smoke in vehicles or public places.

And then there are the state taxes that commercial buyers must pay — and that authorities believe will offer a windfall for state coffers. Recreational marijuana is expected to bring in up to $500 million in the first year alone, and some estimates place the eventual revenue as high as $1 billion a year.

Nevertheless, marijuana remains illegal under federal law — and as such, Border Patrol will continue to seize the substance at checkpoints.

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