LA to become largest US city with recreational pot

FILE- This Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, file photo, shows one of an assortment of marijuana strains during the High Times Harvest Cup in San Bernardino, Calif. California released long-awaited rules Thursday, Nov. 17, that will govern the state's emerging legal marijuana industry. Recreational sales of marijuana will become legal on Jan. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, file)
By  | 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles will become the nation's largest city with recreational pot after the City Council voted to license sales next year.

After months of debate and political snags, the council approved rules Wednesday to usher in commercial sales and cultivation set to begin in less than a month under an initiative approved by state voters.

Under the Los Angeles regulations, residential neighborhoods would be largely off-limits to pot businesses, and buffer zones would be set up around schools, libraries and parks.

However, with the new year just weeks away — and the holidays coming — industry experts say it's not clear how many businesses, if any, will be ready to open their doors on Jan. 1 to hordes of anxious customers.

Medical marijuana has been legal in the state for two decades.