Can I buy recreational marijuana in Long Beach now? (Not yet, but soon)

In less than a month, recreational marijuana will be legal to sell in Long Beach.

The exact date is unclear since it is dependent on an application process for adult-use dispensary licenses. It’s estimated that it will take the city a minimum of one to two weeks to review the applications and begin issuing business licenses, according to city cannabis program manager Ajay Kolluri.

Only businesses with medical cannabis licenses may submit applications to sell recreational cannabis starting Monday, Aug. 13.

Currently, there are nine medical cannabis dispensaries operating across the city. A total of 32 medical dispensaries have been issued licenses (the maximum amount allowed), but not all are operating, Kolluri said.

The city will also be accepting new adult-use applications for non-dispensary businesses that offer services like cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and lab testing.

Voters approved Proposition 64 in 2016, which allowed legal sales of recreational cannabis—but also allowed local governments to impose further restrictions or outright ban the drug.

Only a handful of cities in Southern California currently have laws that allow the sale of recreational cannabis, including Los Angeles, Santa Ana and West Hollywood.

Long Beach moves toward allowing sales of recreational marijuana

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia officially signed recreational cannabis into law mid-July after the City Council voted to temporarily ban sales in November to allow the city attorney’s office to craft an ordinance. In the past decade, city officials have passed laws allowing and banning medical cannabis until a local voter-backed initiative in 2016 legalized medical cannabis, paving the way for a similar structure for recreational use.

Here’s what you need to know about medical and recreational cannabis laws in Long Beach:

  • Medical cannabis may be consumed by patients over 18 with a doctor’s recommendation. Up to 8 ounces of dried cannabis flower and up to 8 grams of cannabis concentrates may be legally possessed.
  • Recreational cannabis may be consumed by adults over 21 with a valid form of identification, including those issued outside of California. Up to 1 ounce of dried cannabis flower and up to 8 grams of cannabis concentrates may be legally possessed.
  • Medical and recreational cannabis may not be consumed in public, including in a parked or moving vehicle. Motorists may face the same legal consequences as those driving under the influence of alcohol.
  • Under state law, businesses may only sell cannabis goods that have passed all testing requirements, including pesticides testing.
  • Under state law, dispensaries may only sell properly packaged and labeled cannabis flowers, similar to food safety laws.
  • Under state law, dispensaries may only sell edible products with 10 milligrams of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, per serving.
  • Long Beach dispensaries may operate from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., with delivery services allowed to operate until 10 p.m.

For more information on California’s laws and regulations click here, to read about Long Beach’s laws click here.

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