NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – The mainstreaming of marijuana is about to get huge boost.
Recreational marijuana sales will launch in three states next year, including the biggest one of all: California.
It’s already for sale in five states, but the addition of a legal retail marijuana market in California, with its massive economy and population, will dramatically change the landscape.
California is aiming to open retail marijuana stores by January 1, Massachusetts and Maine plan to open stores next summer.
“We obviously still have a lot to do, but yes, we’re going to be ready to go on January 1,” said Alex Traverso, spokesman for the Bureau of Cannabis Control in California. “We will be issuing new regulations in November, so we’re hard at work on those at the present time.”
Among the checklist of expected regulations is new oversight on water usage — like drip irrigation and reusing waste water — that could prove expensive for marijuana businesses. Other rules will require licensing and background checks for distributors and safety and education training