The future of Californias legal marijuana industry is being shaped in a warren of cubicles tucked inside a retired basketball arena, where a garden of paper cannabis leaves sprouts on file cabinets and a burlap sack advertising USA Home Grown dangles from a wall. Here, on the outskirts of Sacramento, a handful of government workers face a daunting task: By next year, craft regulations and rules that will govern the states emerging legal pot market, from where and how plants can be grown to setting guidelines to track the buds from fields to stores. Lori Ajax, chief of California’s Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, and her staff are crafting regulations that will govern the state’s emerging legal marijuana market. Associated Press/Rich Pedroncelli Search photos available for purchase: Photo Store Getting it wrong could mean the robust cannabis black market stays that way outside the law undercutting the attempt to create the nations largest legal marijuana economy. The new industry has a projected value of $7 billion, and state and local governments could eventually collect $1 billion a year in taxes. California is building the airplane while its being flown, lamented state Sen. Mike McGuire, a Democrat whose sprawling Northern California district includes some of the worlds most prized pot fields. He questions if the state can meet January deadlines to create a coherent system that accounts for the loosely regulated medical marijuana industry, now two decades old and developing its own rules, while transforming the enormous illegal market into a legal, licensed one. Its going to take us 10 years to dig out of the mess we are in, predicted McGuire, referring to the unruly market, legal and not. Its likely that tens of thousands of people and businesses will need licensing. The job of overseeing the industry touches on issues from protecting water quality for fish in streams near pot grows, to safely collecting hundreds Marijuana Stocks of millions of dollars in taxes from businesses that often operate in cash.