One of California’s first licenses to sell recreational marijuana was awarded to Buddy’s Cannabis in San Jose.
It currently operates as a marijuana collective but come Jan. 1, anyone 21 and older will be able to stroll in and buy pot.
“It's super exciting, honestly it's a milestone at this point,” said Buddy’s Cannabis owner Matt Lucero.
Lucero believes creating and regulating the projected multi-billion dollar cannabis market is the right move.
“It really does help legitimize this industry. We've been operating in the shadows for so many years, and now taking this next step to adult use really puts us as part of the community,” Lucero said.
Lucero was issued the first ‘microbusiness license’ in the state. It allows him to grow, cultivate, and sell marijuana out of the same building. He expects the added clientele looking to light up will boost business by 30-percent.
"We're hiring more employees. We're starting work to develop our upstairs grow,” he said.
Only 16 registered marijuana businesses are licensed to sell recreationally in San Jose on New Year's Day. But to actually operate, they have to get a state license too. Right now Buddy’s is the only one in the city that has both.
Alex Traverso, the Chief of Communications for the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), says that won’t be the case for long.
“We're going to keep issuing licenses and we'll see how the market does but I think we're going to have a lot of people waiting to get into the game,” Traverso said.
Traverso says 286 potential marijuana businesses have been given the green light by their local governments across the state, but are now awaiting approval from the BCC.