California will legalize recreational marijuana on January 1st, and many people have worried that the state wouldn't be ready for the new year. But it seems that things are finally set to begin.

With 18 days to go before January 1st, the state of California has issued its first licenses to businesses to sell recreational marijuana. The state gave licenses out to 20 different companies, most of which were already operating as part of California's medical marijuana industry. Of course, those 20 companies represent only a small fraction of the number of applicants and hopeful businesses trying to get into the recreational market.

Under California law, citizens who are 21 years old or older will be allowed to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and can grow up to six cannabis plants in their own. Cities throughout the state have also passed their own rules and regulations for the industry that will affect the laws in minor ways.

The two largest cities in California, Los Angeles and San Francisco, will take a little bit more time to sort out. The two cities only recently passed regulations for the industry, so many companies in those areas will have to wait until later in January before beginning operations.

Experts predict that the California recreational marijuana industry is currently worth $7 billion. That is really going to change marijuana going forward.

(h/t NBC Los Angeles)