Countdown to legal pot in California: Local dispensaries are ready

SAN DIEGO -- January 1 is the date dispensaries and marijuana consumers in California have been waiting for since the passing of Proposition 64.

At least eight San Diego-area cannabis dispensaries will be permitted to start selling marijuana to adults for recreational use.

“This is becoming -- well, it is -- a legitimate business," said Rakesh Goyal, co-owner of Apothekare in Mission Valley.

Under the new law, those who want to buy marijuana must be 21 or older with a valid ID.

People can’t smoke pot in public or anywhere smoking cigarettes is prohibited or while driving.

“Starting January 1st, you’ll be able to come in, you won’t need to sign up, no forms, don’t need to become a member. You can walk right in -- as long as you’re 21 -- buy something and walk out," said Goyal.

Walking through Apothakare -- a bright, sparkling shop -- products of all kinds are on display.

“You’ve got hundreds of products: inhalers, edibles, vapor pens. It's all finding its way into all aspects of life," Goyal said.

San Diego is considered to be ahead of the curve when it comes to regulating cultivation and sales.

Goyal believes regulation will help educate the public.

“Packaging has to have more information, better labels, listing potency, serving size. It will be clearly conveyed and it will make for a more educated, safer experience -- safer for the industry," said Goyal.

He believes medical marijuana patients will also see and feel the benefits of the new law.

“You’re going to see more products come, more innovation, more research. Better for the patients, better for the customers," said Goyal.

Also with the new law, more quality control.

That means testing products for things like pesticides, mold and bacteria to protect consumers.