On New Year's Day, dozens of people stood in line at Buddy's Cannabis in San Jose to buy marijuana for the first time legally.
Buddy's was the first shop in California to receive a license to sell recreational marijuana. In the days leading up to Jan. 1, there was a flurry of activity in the inventory room as workers prepared for big crowds by weighing, measuring, labeling and packing cannabis in child-proof containers.
"There's 14-gram jars, there are 3½-gram jars," points out Matt Lucero, owner of Buddy's Cannabis. For the last eight years he’s been selling medical marijuana in a nondescript industrial building in North San Jose.
"Folks who want to have safe access to cannabis, they know how to find us. The folks who are opposed to us never have to see us."
In 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64, which allows adults over 21 to purchase marijuana for recreational use. It also established a process for licensing retail sales. The state’s blessing culminates a hard-fought journey to bring the industry out of the shadows of the black market.