San Diego’s legal pot shops were nearly overrun by customers on New Year’s Day as thousands turned out for the historic start of recreational marijuana sales in California.
Nervous retailers thought that consumer demand might be soft because medical marijuana has long been available, and it’s easy to get.
But before dawn on Monday, lines began to form outside stores like Urbn Leaf in Bay Park and Torrey Holistics in Sorrento Valley. And they only grew longer.
By sunset, 170 people were still lined up at Urbn Leaf, which had already served more than 800 customers, roughly triple its normal business.
Everyone from older people in leisure suits to a young guy in pajamas showed up, waiting upwards of an hour in line to buy such things as slim, pre-rolled joints to packaged buds to creams, drinks and foods that had been infused with marijuana.
“They’re coming in droves,” said Will Senn, co-founder of Urbn Leaf, which has a second store in Golden Hill. “I really underestimated what would happen.”
Senn whipped up some of the demand, busing in