Recreational marijuana sales kick off in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — In San Francisco, a city long known for embracing weed, sales of recreational marijuana began Saturday.

Six dispensaries confirmed Saturday that they’re selling recreational marijuana. They all received their state licenses to sell on Friday.

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One of them, Apothecarium, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony with local politicians and even offered a 20 percent discount for people who brought their mothers.

Eliot Dobris, head of community outreach at Apothecarium, says the business wanted to show that dispensaries are “respectable places that you can be proud to bring your mom to.”

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Recreational marijuana became legal in California on Monday, but some municipalities hadn’t authorized shops in time for them to sell right away.

Shabnam Malek, a 44-year-old lawyer and mother of three, waited in line for a half hour for Apothecarium to open its doors in San Francisco.

She marveled at the difference between buying a legal bag of weed from the times in her 20s when she was buying marijuana on the streets, a situation she said exposed her to contaminated products and unsafe situations.

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She said she thinks Sessions’ announcement will backfire on him.

“If anything I feel more galvanized,” she said. “I think he’s going to see a lot of us come out and be even more vocal about our support for legal cannabis.”

Sessions’ action also was on the mind of Kevin Johnson, director of operations at Grass Roots, which also opened its doors for recreational pot in San Francisco on Saturday.

“It’s certainly a concern,” Johnson said. “It may be more difficult for us to do proper banking but when we opened up, George W. Bush was president and the DEA was doing raids on dispensaries. We’re in this for the long haul.”

Grass Roots opened 13 years ago to sell medical marijuana.

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