On January 1, Californians rang in the new year with legal marijuana.
Across the state, more than 100 marijuana dispensaries have gotten state licenses (temporary, for now) to sell marijuana for recreational use. The legal market’s debut brings an end to prohibition in the most populous state (medical marijuana has been legal for years in California), which is now also the biggest legal marijuana market in America.
Customers began lining up outside Caliva — Silicon Valley’s top marijuana dispensary — at 7 p.m. on Sunday for sales the next day. Business has been booming. On January 1, Caliva generated about five times the revenue it pulls in on a typical day, with about 75% of customers buying product for non-medical use.
Since Caliva opened shop in July 2015, the dispensary has contributed approximately $6 million in tax revenue to San Jose, making it one of the single largest taxpayers in the city.
In 2016, we visited Caliva — named the best dispensary in America by Business Insider — to see what shopping for marijuana could be like as the industry grows up.
I stopped by Caliva, located in San Jose, California, on a sunny weekday morning.
A receptionist greeted me and checked my medical marijuana ID card. Now that weed is fully legal, Caliva only checks for a government-issued ID, like a driver’s license.
While I waited in the lobby, I flipped through a book by Leafly, a dispensary- and strain-review site, that explained the different effects that strains of marijuana might produce.