Oakland: a mad dash to buy pot before new taxes take effect

OAKLAND — For the last few weeks, the lines have been out the door at Harborside Health Center in Oakland, one of the world’s largest medical cannabis dispensaries. It’s not even D-Day yet for the much-anticipated Jan. 1 launch of recreational marijuana sales, when any adult 21 or over in California will be able to walk into a state-sanctioned shop for the first time and legally purchase pot without a medical marijuana card.

On the eve of this historic date, people have been flocking to Harborside to stock up on flowers, clones, tinctures, concentrates, edibles and other products before Monday when hefty new cannabis taxes kick in. The dispensary has been advertising a “Stock up and Save Sale” that included regularly priced $250 ounces of pot going for $150.

“I got a notice from them that prices could go up 38 percent,” said an Oakland businessman who was among dozens of people

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