SAN JOSE, Calif. - The wait is finally over for recreational pot users to come out of the shadows.
"I'm about 56 years old and I never thought this day would happen," said Brett Anthony Muret of Woodside. He came to Buddy's Cannabis in San Jose to do his pot shopping.
Buddy's was the first dispensary to receive a state license to engage in recreational sales of cannabis last month.
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"Until today, we've sold just medical cannabis," said owner Matt Lucero. "This to me is the next logical step in becoming fully legitimized in our community."
Forty-two businesses received a temporary license to be able to sell recreational marijuana. The short-term license expires in May. Businesses will then have 90 days while California's Bureau of Cannabis Control reviews applications for a permanent license that will be good for a year.
Then, there's the question of state and federal taxes. "We pay every dime to every entity that is asking us to pay. We fill out a file federal tax return just like any other business," said Lucero.
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However, there's still a gray area since the sale of marijuana is illegal in the eyes of the federal government.
As a result, most dispensaries require customers to pay in cash since banks are federally insured entities. This is not the case at Buddy's. They accept either cash or card.
"We've been able to hold and maintain both a business checking account as well as a merchant bank account," said Lucero. "To me, it's a security risk that I would not want to deal with and subject our customers to."
That's a convenient transaction that will be sure to keep customers coming back.
There is a 15 percent tax on the sale of marijuana that is expected to generate $1 billion in revenue for the state each year.
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