Entrepreneurs and consumers have been holding their collective breath as California readies itself for retail cannabis sales, which that state’s voters approved in November 2016. California expects to have regulations and license programs in place for retail cannabis businesses by early next year, although the exact date that stores will open is still unknown.
Despite the lack of retail presence, California’s medical marijuana industry is spurring one of the largest legal pot markets in the country, medical or recreational. Several cannabis industry studies have shown that California’s market is already larger than in Colorado or Washington, which both opened retail pot businesses in 2014. And even though they’re in a medical-only market, California’s cannabis consumers already display strong similarities to their Colorado counterparts, according to data from BDS Analytics – but on the recreational side.