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High times for cannabis stocks as California becomes sixth state to sell drug for recreational use

Californians voted to legalise the sale of marijuana for recreational use in 2016 but the law did not take effect until Monday
California is expected to rake in US$7bn from marijuana sales in a few years

California has become the sixth US state to allow the sale of recreational marijuana, providing an opportunity for cannabis and even junk food stocks.

The sale of the drug for recreational use kicked off in the state on Monday after Californians voted to legalise it in 2016.

California is expected to rake in US$7bn from marijuana sales in a few years, compared to US$6.6bn of the entire market in the country in 2016, according to New Frontier Data.

"Cannabis is now legal in the most populous state in the country," New Frontier Data, which tracks the cannabis industry, wrote in its 2017 annual report,

This "dramatically” increases the total potential size of the industry, it added.

Under the rules, adults 21 and older can possess as much as an ounce and grow up to six plants at home in California.

However, industry officials expect a slow roll out as the licensing procedure is not yet in place in many cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and Nevada have already approved the sale of recreational marijuana while Massachusetts will begin selling it on 1 July.

California was the first state to legalise marijuana for medicinal purposes and has since been approved in 29 states.

Cannabis stocks that stand to benefit 

iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (CSE:IAN), which owns, operates, and partners with licensed cannabis operations in the US, is among the stocks that stand to benefit from the legalisation of marijuana across the US.

In a statement on Tuesday, it announced affiliate, Mayflower Medicinals, received its final certificate of registration and certificate of occupancy from Massachusetts regulators and local officials to begin cannabis cultivation and production operations at its facility in Holliston.

Nevada-focused cannabis firm Friday Night Inc. (CSE:TGIF) is expanding with the recent acquisition of and Body & Mind Inc.

Body & Mind was one of the first companies to be approved for the cultivation and production of medical marijuana in Nevada, where the market has grown dramatically since recreational use was approved last July.

Jack in the Box to sell snacks for stoners 

Fast food chain Jack in the Box Inc (NASDAQ:JACK) is also trying to cash in, announcing plans to team up with rapper Snoop Dogg’s Merry Jane cannabis site to offer a box of greasy stoner snacks.

The ‘Merry Munchie Meal’ will sell for US$4.20  but only lasts from 18 January to 25 January at three locations in California.

“Launching the Merry Munchie Meal is the perfect way for both companies to celebrate legalisation in our shared home state of California,” said Scott Chung, chief operations officer of Merry Jane.

Iwona Alter, Jack in the Box’s marketing chief, said the meal deal is perfect for potheads “whether you’re at a concert, up late playing video games, or pulling an all-nighter”.

“We are about welcoming all of our guests, no matter what they’re craving or why they’re craving it.”

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