Locals line up around the block for first recreational pot shop in Humboldt County
EUREKA, Calif. - The Day is finally here: Recreational marijuana sales to adults is legal in California -- but folks still had to wait a little longer.
A dispensary in Eureka was the first retail shop in Humboldt County to get the green light by the state to sell pot to people over 21. Eco-Cann, the Ecological Cannabis Organization, located near the corner of F and Third Streets, saw a line wrapped around the building.
But a 45-minute wait was insignificant for people who have waited for years.
"We've been waiting fifty years, fifty years and it's finally here!" once customer said.
The owner of Eco-Cann, Jeff Poel, said he was surprised by the non-stop crowd of eager customers.
"We're Humboldt County; there's weed everywhere, we didn't know," Poel said,
But he said they were prepared for the endless line.
"General Manager, Ray Markland, has been working seven days a week, 16 hours a day for quite a while to get ready for today, we hired two more staff people," Poel said.
When customers stepped foot into Eco-Cann, staff showed them an impressive selection, from cannabis oils to flowers.
Poel said the 2016 vote to transition cannabis businesses into the legal market was a no-brainer.
"If you have a legally-regulated market, you can control it, you can tax it, you can do the environmental protection that needs to happen," he said.
But this new era of recreational marijuana and legal sales to adults is still hard to grasp for some, including Eco-Cann customer Tyron Lockhart.
"It's surreal to be honest with you because I went to jail on the corner of where we are at right now for possession of marijuana back in the 70s," Lockhart said. "I don't know how to feel about it yet, I am happy but it's just an odd feeling and I'm not used to it yet."
Poel said within the first two hours of opening Jan. 1, they saw over $5,000 in sales. He also said the profits were the equivalent about two days of sales of medicinal marijuana.