‘Licenses not ready’: Californians won’t be able to buy pot on Jan. 1

With a population of almost 40 million, California is set to be the largest US state to legalize recreational marijuana on Jan. 1, 2018.

Californians, who are looking forward to buying some recreational marijuana on Jan. 1, will not be able to exercise their new legal right as consumers. California’s two biggest cities – Los Angeles and San Francisco – among other municipalities don’t have their licenses ready, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

A spokesman for California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control urged people to have “patience.”

“If people are looking to go out on Jan. 1 and purchase adult-use cannabis, I think we would preach patience. Because not everybody is going to be ready,” Alex Traverso said.

Licensing dispensaries is not expected to be an easy task. In California, the state utilizes a system called track and trace which may cause an issue. The system requires the bureau to trace the whereabouts of every product from seed to full growth. Them from the sale of cannabis products to US adults.

So far, California has issued 69 licenses for medical retailers and 44 for recreational use, Traverso added.

He said the regulatory body will not be sitting to take a break. Instead, it will be working during the weekend to get more licenses ready. He has hopes to give permits to several hundred.

In an earlier interview with the Financial Times, the head of Bureau of Cannabis Control Lori Ajax said she was not “expecting everyone” to obtain their licenses to operate their marijuana businesses on time.

During the interview, Ajax said the agency already has 1,300 applicants.

On Top of that, medical marijuana stores, which have been legal in California more than two decades ago, now need to receive permits for their operation to continue.