Central Coast dispensaries get ready for recreational marijuana changes

Central Coast dispensaries gearing up for recreational marijuana changes

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Central Coast cannabis businesses are gearing up for recreational use marijuana sales. 

As the state continues to issue temporary permits to dispensaries looking to sell recreational pot, those already licensed are working to draw in customers.

At Capitola Healing Association Inc., or C.H.A.I., a dispensary in Santa Cruz, an average day can see up to 400 customers. Soon there could be more.

"In the last two weeks, the phone is ringing off the hook about recreational sales and being open January 1st," said Josh Lechner, the dispensary's manager.

Lechner says getting to sell medical marijuana along with recreational sounds a lot easier than it is.

"There's so many new rules and so many new laws, some of them are conflicting each other so everyone has different answers for what you can do, what you can't do and how you're supposed to do things," Lechner said.

State law has given businesses like C.H.A.I.  a temporary license that lets them sell recreational pot for 120 days.

"Because our time frame for getting regulations done was so aggressive near the end we were able to only go through the emergency regulatory process so part of that was issuing temporary licenses instead of permanent licenses," said Alex Traverso, chief of communications with the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation.

C.H.A.I. won't be the only place to sell recreational pot on the Central Coast, Monterey Bay Alternative Medicine in Del Rey Oaks is also licensed to sell.

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control says they're in the process of issuing 200 more temporary licenses.

Those will let the businesses start selling after the new year while the bureau reviews them for permanent licenses.

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