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Eureka dispensary sells recreational marijuana in the new year

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EUREKA, Calif. - A long line wrapped around the block as people waited to buy recreational marijuana from Ecocann dispensary on F Street in Eureka on Monday. The dispensary is one of the first in the state that's now permitted to sell recreational pot.

"We didn't know what to expect," Co-founder Jeff Poel said. "We were prepared; we hired to more people and put in another cash register."

Customers said they waited in line for 30 minutes in order to partake in the grand re-opening of Ecocann, which was previously a medical marijuana provider.

"I've waited 50 years for this," said one customer holding up his purchase.

California's legal pot economy was supposed to operate under the umbrella of a vast computerized system to track marijuana from seed to storefronts, ensuring that plants are followed throughout the supply chain and don't drift into the black market.

But officials said recreational cannabis sales began this week without the computer system in use for pot businesses. Instead, they are being asked to document sales and transfers of pot manually, using paper invoices or shipping manifests.

The state Dept. of Food and Agriculture, which is overseeing the tracking system, said in a statement that tracking was "implemented" on Tuesday, Jan. 2. However, it conceded that growers and sellers are not required to use it yet, and training on how to input data will be necessary before it becomes mandatory, apparently later in the year.

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