Poll suggests Californians want more adult-use marijuana stores

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Recreational cannabis retailers could open far more stores in California if municipalities respond favorably to a poll that shows the majority of state residents welcome the legalization of adult-use MJ sales.

The UC Berkeley Institute of Government Studies’ poll conducted for the Los Angeles Times found that 68% of Californians say the legalized sale of recreational marijuana has been a “good thing.”

And 63% of the respondents said they favor allowing retail dispensaries to sell cannabis products in the communities where they live.

Three years ago, 57% of voters approved Proposition 64, which legalized growing, selling and possessing marijuana for recreational use.

At the time, state officials thought there would be as many as 6,000 licensed cannabis retailers, but so far just 601 stores have been issued permits, likely because municipalities have the power to ban recreational marijuana businesses. About 75% of California cities have outlawed them.

Assemblyman Phil Ting, a Democrat from San Francisco, told the Times that the survey validates a bill he introduced that would require marijuana retailers to be allowed in cities where a majority of voters supported Proposition 64.

Under Ting’s bill, which was temporarily mothballed, one licensed cannabis retailer would be required for every six restaurants and bars with liquor licenses or every 15,000 residents, whichever would have resulted in fewer dispensaries in a community.

It’s estimated that would have led to 1,195 more cannabis retailers opening stores in the 392 incorporated cities and unincorporated areas that voted in favor of Proposition 64, according to a study by consulting firm Applied Development Economics Inc.

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