In this April 23, 2017 file photo Calfarms, a medical marijuana provider help attendees at the High Times Cannabis Cup in California. (Richard Vogel, Associated Press)

Santa Cruz may be first California county to approve adult-use cannabis sales

Santa Cruz may be the first county in the state ready for recreational marijuana sales on January 1.

On Tuesday, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to allow the 12 medical marijuana dispensaries operating in unincorporated areas to sell recreational, as well as medicinal, cannabis come New Year’s Day. But the dispensaries still would need a state license to begin legal sales to adults ages 21 and older, and the state still is scrambling to create a licensing framework.

No information could be found indicating any other California county has passed regulations to legalize recreational sales.

The new regulations come in the wake of Prop. 64, an initiative passed last November by 57 percent of voters that legalized the permitted sale of recreational pot in the state starting in 2018. Seventy percent of county voters approved the initiative — the second-highest margin in the state.

The city of Santa Cruz is also among the few aiming to have regulations ready to go by Jan. 1. The City Council is set to read a proposed ordinance that would apply to its two dispensaries and three potential new dispensaries at its Nov. 14 meeting.

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