Dispensaries Overcome Hurdles in Hopes of Getting State Licenses to Sell Recreationally

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SACRAMENTO -- Kim Cargile says come Jan. 1, as soon as recreational pot becomes legal, she wants to sell it at her Sacramento dispensary.

But she's hit some bumps in the road.

"Well what's frustrating is the regulations just came out from the state a few weeks ago. So we've had to do a number of changes over the last few weeks to prepare for our state license," Cargile said.

To get a state license and an adult-use permit to sell pot, she needed to meet all the state's requirements. Meaning, she literally had to rebuild.

"Becoming handicap accessible. New point of sales system. New security system. New alarm system. New camera system. New security company," Cargile said.

And despite all that work -- a new hurdle.

Cargile, and every other dispensary owner in Sacramento, still need the city's approval before California allows them to sell recreationally.

"It's quite literally gonna come down to the wire on Jan. 1," said Joe Devlin, Sacramento's chief of cannabis policy.

And Devlin says it will be tough for any dispensary to get authorized in the city before January.

So far, only two out of 30 in Sacramento have had their applications processed.

"We wanna make sure businesses are paying their taxes and that they're following all the laws and regulations," Devlin said.

But hope for selling non-medical bud in the New Year isn't lost. One official with the Bureau of Cannabis Control says once you get your city's approval, getting a state license should be pretty easy.

"You've provided all those things the bureau asks for and the turnaround on your license is going to be pretty quick," said Alex Traverso with the Bureau of Cannabis Control. "So if people want to be operating on Jan. 1, that local authorization piece is really what we're looking for."

Cargile and other dispensary owners all throughout Sacramento are now waiting. And with less than two weeks to 2018, they're still unsure if they'll be selling medical to patients or cannabis to customers.