SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento city officials are still working with the state to issue licenses, and permits to businesses wanting to sell marijuana for recreational use come Jan. 1.
There are currently 30 medical marijuana dispensaries operating within Sacramento, and city officials say most all of them have applied for their adult use permits.
City officials say every cannabis businesses must have both a conditional use permit for the physical property and business operations permit. And come Jan. 1, they must also have a state license for recreational use sales. As for which businesses will everything in place come the first of the year.
“Not all of our dispensaries, and maybe not any of them will be able to obtain their state permit in time, we’ll see,” said Joe Devlin, chief of cannabis policy and enforcement for the City of Sacramento.
On Friday, Devlin is expected to announce at least some of the dispensaries that were able to obtain all their licenses in time for general public sales on Jan. 1.
River City Phoenix Dispensary in Sacramento is optimistic they will be among the first chosen. They have product and process ready to go but are anxiously awaiting word from the city and state.
“So they won’t be announcing from the city who has their adult use permits until [Friday], so fingers crossed we will be in the running. But we already have our medical use permit through the city and the state, so we are prepared for that,” said Shayna Schonauer, regional manager for RCP Dispensary.
For those businesses and dispensaries that are awarded their adult use permits, there are new rules they have to follow compared to medical use sales. Product must be sold in child-proof packaging, lower dosages for edibles and adults over 21 can only possess 1 ounce, to name a few.
“Be patient with everyone as we’re working through it. I’m sure lots of things will change as we’ve seen with other states that have already gone recreational. As time goes on things will change here, and there so eventually it will all smooth out, so it’s really exciting,” Schonauer said.
City officials say the process takes so long because they want to make sure each business and the products they sell are safe for the general public.
“The state has been a great partner in this. It’s a very dynamic and complicated process on all fronts,” Devlin said.
Even dispensaries that do receive their adult use permits by Jan. 1 won’t be able to start selling at immediately at midnight as they still have to comply with rules for hours of operation. RCP is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
And the city wants to remind people, just because you can purchase marijuana legally, you can’t just smoke anywhere in public. Where cigarette smoking is banned, so is marijuana. To be safe and compliant you should limit smoking to a private residence.