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LA Begins Pot Licensing Process

WEST HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — The MedMen cannabis dispensary in West Hollywood is selling recreational marijuana. The LA MedMen store is not.

That's because West Hollywood has already issued licenses to sell recreational pot to anyone who is 21 or older while the City of Los Angeles started accepting license applications today.

KCAL9/CBS2's Randy Paige talked to Charlie Cole and Kylie Shaffer, who were near the end of a 45-minute line just to get inside the West Hollywood MedMen store.

"It's very exciting. It's new," said Cole.

"We're from the East Coast so it's very different from what we're used to," said Shaffer.


Once they get inside all they need to do is prove their age with a photo ID and they can buy anything they want.

But there are two differences between their ability to buy and those who come in with a medical prescription.

First the price. Recreational users have to pay a 25 percent tax -- medical patients do not.

And there is a limit to how much they can buy. As recreational customers, Charlie Cole and Kylie Shaffer can buy up to one ounce of marijuana each, or the equivalent amount of its active ingredient THC -- found in vape pens, edibles and drinks.


Under the new state guidelines, people with a medical prescription can buy up to eight times that amount. The cost for that much pot can be as much as $3,200.

Hal Fairchild said one big benefit of the new law is that people who buy and use pot aren't going to jail.

"I think when I was a teenager I never imagined this day was coming. But it's amazing. I think it's a change for the better," said Fairchild.

LA expects to issue about 200 temporary licenses -- the first could be issued as soon as next week. Then it will take at least a few days for the store to get its state license. Which means within a matter of weeks, stores in LA now serving only medical marijuana patients could begin selling recreational pot.

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