California Marijuana: One in Seven Cities Allow Recreational Sales
California's legal marijuana industry may not be as widespread throughout the state as people think. Though California's Proposition 64 was approved by 57 percent of state voters, just one-in-seven cities in the state allow recreational cannabis retailers. Local restrictions limit the industry to a few locations.
According to a study conducted by the Mercury News, only one in three local municipalities all any cannabis business at all. State law allows local governments the final say in what kind of marijuana they will allow where and when. Far from a state-wide marijuana marketplace, California is more like a patchwork of varying regulations.
Towns like San Jose and Oakland embrace the cannabis industry and host a variety of cultivation and retail businesses, while smaller jurisdictions in the Bay Area block nearly every type of marijuana-related operation. Across 540 city and county jurisdictions, just 162 permit marijuana businesses within their borders.
And although California's medical marijuana program is 22-years strong, less than one in five state cities allow medical dispensaries. Some cities that spent the past two decades blocking medical marijuana decided to switch after the promise of taxes from recreational sales, though only 57 cities have had their proposed tax rates approved by the state.
In San Jose, the city coffers have already collected nearly $2.2 million from cannabis tax revenue. In other cities that plan to allow adult-use retailers, lack of local regulations means businesses are unable to obtain the permits necessary for a state license. Out of 482 cities, only 34 have licensed recreational retailers.