New marijuana industry in Sonoma off to slow start

SONOMA, Calif. (KGO) -- Sonoma County expects to generate close to $4 million in taxes from their new marijuana industry, but it got off to a slow start Wednesday.

PHOTO STORY: Sonoma County issues first permits for distribution, cultivation, transportation of pot

Only four people applied.

They expected a line out the door -- it never materialized, not even inside.

"Just about a normal Wednesday morning," said Sonoma Cannabis Program Manager Tannis Wick.

Except that as of Wednesday, cannabis is a legitimate growth business, in at least one case, run by a woman with an MBA.

"My friends questioned my decision when I transferred from finance to this, but it is the best decision I ever made," Frasier told ABC7 News.

She filed for a cannabis distribution and transportation license through a bureaucratic process.

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"This is an opportunity for cannabis to come out of the black market, and into the green," Wick added.

"The cannabis industry will now be regulated just like any other industry," Wick told ABC7 News. "It will have workman's compensation, Cal Osha, all regulations that traditional businesses like to follow."

In a county that, until now, everyone recognized for wine and craft foods, medical cannabis had an underground cache. Now, it's legit.

"But there is a culture deeply rooted in the cannabis industry," said Ricard.

When asked if that was scalable Ricard replied, "Yeah, We think it is."

And the dawning of a new era began, not with a puff, but with a click -- and paperwork.

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