The clock is ticking. In just six months, California will officially license businesses to sell marijuana for recreational use.
Those representing dispensaries said the City of San Diego is cutting it close for new rules for handling the drug.
“We're playing chicken to a degree,” said Phil Rath, Executive Director of the United Medical Marijuana Coalition. “But hopefully we'll be able to get some clear rules of the road for everybody.”
San Diego is working to put measures in place to license local pot dispensaries to sell marijuana without a medical prescription by January 2018.
The City Council will meet on Sept. 11 to discuss the rules surrounding the growing, cultivating and transporting of marijuana.
Rules regarding licensing dispensaries have already been set, allowing up to four dispensaries in each district to sell weed, keeping a strict distance from schools, churches and other dispensaries.
Many of those coveted licenses will go to existing medical marijuana dispensaries.
Rocky Goyal who runs apothekare in Kearny Mesa hopes there are more around the county to offer an alternative to black market weed sellers.
“We're seeing Vista, Oceanside, Encinitas have the discussion,” Goyal said. “It wouldn't surprise me in the next year or two, [if] you see a lot more cities come online with it.”
“You could potentially have 100 or 150 of these throughout the county,” he added.
California voters passed Proposition 64 in November 2016, allowing those over age 21 to legally use marijuana, and the sale of the drug to be taxed.
Previously, marijuana was legal only for medicinal purposes and with a doctor's authorization.