Although there is no guarantee that California is going to vote for the legalization of recreational marijuana, hundreds of big companies and small businesses have already been preparing to join the industry.
California, with its successful medical cannabis trade that had been legalized 20 years ago and its population of about 40 million people, represents the largest U.S. legal marijuana market. Legalization of recreational cannabis might provide approximately $1 billion of taxes per year.
In case voters approve the legalization measure, California is going to be the largest U.S. state to allow recreational cannabis, following Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia.
It is worth mentioning that a similar measure failed on the ballot in California in 2010. However, the results of recent polls demonstrate strong support for the legalization. Moreover, the decision of Californian voters may have a great impact on the legalization ballots in other American states, including Maine and Nevada, accelerating the trend throughout the whole country.
Since January, 115 new companies from California have joined the National Cannabis Industry Association, thus bringing total membership in the state to 330. Among these new companies are dispensaries, cultivators, accountants, law partnerships, insurers, software developers, and much more. Their challenge is to create a business that is not yet legal. For example, purchasing farmland to grow cannabis, transforming medical clinics into dispensaries, developing packages for cannabis-based goods can still come with certain risks.
Despite such optimism, positive results of the measure are not certain. It is opposed by many of the same health care and law enforcement groups who helped defeat the 2010 initiative.
The Californian measure would allow adults age 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of cannabis and grow up to six plants. It also establishes rules for sale, manufacture, and cultivation of cannabis. However, it includes certain limitations aimed at keeping marijuana products away from children, preventing impaired driving, and requiring licenses for sellers.