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California cannabis check-in: A year after marijuana sales began in the Golden State, a deep dive into the state of the legal market




A budtender displays cannabis at the Higher Path medical marijuana dispensary in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, California, December 27, 2017.
A budtender displays cannabis at the Higher Path medical marijuana dispensary in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, California, December 27, 2017.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

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The new year is around the corner, so you’d better stock up on confetti, champagne and enough celebratory weed paraphernalia to get you through the next morning.

This January 1 marks the one year anniversary of California’s legalization of recreational pot, and the state has come a long way in destigmatizing the drug. We’ve seen companies like MedMen become mammoths in an increasingly competitive industry, turning a historically counter-culture business into one of the trendiest capitalist ventures of 2018.

But that’s not to say there isn’t a long way to go before the marijuana industry settles all of its growing pains. Those attempting to get into the legal business claim the state’s regulations are too stringent and the barrier for entry too costly. Additionally, weed is still a schedule 1 drug under federal law, hampering potential for inter-state commerce and growth, as well as blurring the lines of legality for past and present criminal possession charges.

Guest host Frank Stoltz moderates the year in review with a medley of major players in the industry.

We reached out to the California Bureau of Cannabis Control, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office to see if they could make a representative available for our discussion today. The District Attorney’s Office and the California Bureau of Cannabis Control were not able to provide us someone for the interview.

Guests:

Cat Packer, executive director and general manager of the Department of Cannabis Regulation of Los Angeles

Amanda Chicago Lewis, LA-based freelance reporter covering cannabis; she tweets @msamandalewis

Sgt. Oscar Chavez, supervisor with the Impaired Driving Section at California Highway Patrol HQ in Sacramento

Sunshine Lencho, attorney specializing in the cannabis industry; co-founder of Supernova Women, an organization supporting women of color in the cannabis industry; she is a former member of the City of Oakland Cannabis Regulatory Commission

Jerred Kiloh, president of United Cannabis Business Association, a Los Angeles-based cannabis industry group representing regulated cannabis retailers in California, and owner of The Higher Path Collective, a medical and recreational cannabis dispensary in Sherman Oaks



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