Sacramentans stay chill for the first day of recreational cannabis sales
Modest lines (and a few journalists) greet first customers
The pre-dawn quiet at Golden Health and Wellness was noticeable. One customer, a security guard and a FOX40 news van were the only things in the parking lot at 6:57 a.m. on New Year's Day. After a few minutes, Michael Lynch walked inside and became the first person to purchase recreational cannabis in Sacramento.
”Well, I was in the area,” Lynch said when asked why he drove down to stand in the dark. “I'm going for a walk with a friend later, and thought I'd stop in.” Golden Health and Wellness was among the first seven Sacramento dispensaries with the city and state permits to allow sales on opening day. “We just got our paperwork back last night,” said manager Trevor Mitzel.
Once inside, a TV cameraman angled for better shots while Lynch spoke with a budtender, then purchased $40 worth of flower strains. What did the 52-year-old Lincoln resident think of the legal experience? “I always knew it was going to happen,” said Lynch. “When it did, I thought I might as well be part of history.”
By 8:50 a.m. over at River City Phoenix, there were as many reporters as customers. With no dispensaries to cover in San Francisco, Ed Murrieta of the San Francisco Chronicle's GreenState.com sought quotes among the four people in line. “It's the second happiest day of my life,” said one elderly man. Another customer said she was already a medical patient, but just wanted to be part of a celebration.
The biggest morning crowd assembled at 9 a.m. at A Therapeutic Alternative. With 10 people inside and a dozen cued-up around the back, TV reporters waited for an actual customer to put on camera. Someone from the line yelled, “I don't want my photo taken,” so reporters conducted interviews with Richard Miller, A Therapeutic Alternative's director of education and outreach.
The nonchalance of area smokers was somewhat unexpected, but it brought to mind a now popular Joan Didion quote that “anybody who talks about California hedonism has never spent a Christmas in Sacramento.”