PUFF Bang! 2018 is here. All the balloting, arguing, politicking, voting and discussing are over, and cannabis is legal for adults to use recreationally in California. Whew! Now what?

First of all get high! If you are one of those people who always bought in quantity from friends and avoided the cost of a card, go out to one of the dispensaries in San Francisco licensed to sell recreational marijuana and treat yourself. Buy a preroll or a vape pen or an edible. Buy some strain with a crazy-ass name (we all do it, Space Donkey comes to mind) just so you can go tell your friends what you have to share with them. There is no commitment now, so go and experiment: There are a lot of fun ways to get high these days.

For the regular dispensary consumer, don’t freak out about paying the crazy taxes laid on our beloved plant. Just know that it was tough in the beginning for all the states that have made the change. As soon as this crazy new pot machine gets running, the planners will look at what is wrong and start making changes. (At least they have promised to do so.) Things will smooth out. Specials and bargains will happen again. Just remember every time you pay that tax, you voted that in for a large part to keep people out of jail, and to release those unjustly serving time.

Everyone in the cannabis industry is scrambling to get the proper license, packaging, and doses for their products to make it through the process. This is a group of companies, organizations, and farms that for years created the compassionate care we know as medicinal marijuana. Well, Prop 64 is replacing that finely, oiled machine with the giant, robotic hand of commerce. Both will coexist eventually, but it will take a while. During that time many amazing companies with the best of intentions will close, disappear or meld into another group. From all accounts, it has been a crazy rollercoaster for these companies to comply, so my hat is off to those slogging through it all.

Right now the important thing is to watch who gets the power and what they do with it. It is imperative that through equity we help those who made a name for themselves in this industry and might not have all the skills to immediately compete in this new version of Weed World. We are asking them to come out of the Green Closet to no longer be outside the law and not only have a business model and logo but with proper licensing and testings to go with it. That is a lot to accomplish. Let’s not let them fall behind so they can get a proper piece of the stoner pie they helped bake.

So we will party and celebrate victory in 2018 and smoke a big fattie for all those who brought us here — Dennis Peron, Brownie Mary, Lynette Shaw, Jack Herer, Valerie Corral, and Steve DeAngelo, to name a few. I will see you in line at your local dispensary as I wait patiently for another hit of that Space Donkey.

It’s time to light up!

Dan Karkoska is an independent producer, promoter, film critic, and DJ on the San Francisco scene. He also works with Maria Konner at Under the Golden Gate and is currently producing and hosting PUFF, the first queer marijuana rock-and-roll drag party every first Thursday at The Stud. He is a big stoner. Photo by Sari Staver.