The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to license the sale and cultivation of recreational pot starting in 2018, The Associated Press reports. Yes, you read that correctly: In less than a month, L.A. will be the country’s largest city to have legal recreational weed.
But before you go buying plane tickets to the Golden State, note that legalizing recreational pot isn’t as simple as waving a magic wand and telling everyone they can buy or sell as much weed as they’d like wherever they feel like it. The L.A. where growers and sellers can dispense their product in the legal market, and weed businesses will have to obtain local permits and state licenses to operate, just like any other legit business.
The rules are still a work in progress, and no one can be sure how the legal market will stand up against the remaining rogue growers and sellers. “The other cities in this nation, they are looking to L.A.,” said City Council President Herb Wesson. His prediction is that City of Angels taking the leap will create a template for legalization that other cities can follow.
So if you’re planning to jump into the market as a grower or seller, maybe you should just wait to see how it goes before you pack up your things and head out west. Until then, as they say, it’s a buyer’s market.
And hey: If a city as large as L.A. can tame a business that’s been going on illegally for so long, there’ll definitely be hope for cities around the country going forward.