By now, if a California resident wanted to buy marijuana, they likely could have gotten a medical marijuana prescription, but that requirement is no longer necessary after Proposition 64 kicked in, legalizing recreational marijuana sales as of January 1, 2018.

The first recreational marijuana in West Hollywood went on sale this morning at AHHS, on Santa Monica Boulevard just East of Fairfax.

In fact, West Hollywood is the ONLY place in Los Angeles County where you can buy recreational marijuana, thanks to cumbersome state and local government regulations and licensing processes. So only AHHS and MedMen (on Santa Monica and Havenhurst) can sell it.

If you do decide to try to toke today, you will pay up to 30% more than those with a medical marijuana card thanks to taxes and fees.

Furthermore, even though purchasing recreational cannabis is legal, consumption is still highly regulated. You cannot consume it in any form in a business that sells alcohol, nor smoke it anywhere that smoking is not allowed, for example.

In the near future, West Hollywood’s other two dispensaries will likely obtain State licenses and temporary permits from the City to sell recreational marijuana.

Eventually, West Hollywood has a permitting process to allow on-site consumption lounges, or coffee shops.

Some local residents are even wondering if these on-site consumption lounges could end up as coffee shop/strip clubs. While the State bans nudity in any venue that sells alcohol, those regulations were passed in the 1970’s based on authority given to the State ABC to regulate alcohol sales in a 1954 constitutional amendment. Extending those regulations to cannabis businesses would likely not be automatic. But before that can happen, a business will need to clear local hurdles which will take at least six months.