Here’s What Is Choking California’s Legal Marijuana Industry

The findings bring into sharper view some of the difficulties of California cannabis

In the decades before U.S. states began to legalize recreational marijuana, perhaps you heard a few people argue that if the government just legalized marijuana, then taxed and regulated it, then the government would rake in a ton of money. Legal marijuana, in turn, would would suffocate the illicit market, and people would buy the legal product anyway because weed sells itself.

Well, it hasn’t totally panned out that way yet, at least in California, despite recreational legalization in the state this year. Many people are still buying weed on the illicit market, thanks in part to steep markups and high taxes in legal pot shops, along with local restrictions, according to survey data released Wednesday from marijuana delivery service Eaze.

“Unlicensed retailers do not have to comply with worker protection laws, test products for pesticides and processing chemicals, or remit taxes,” said a report from the company outlining the findings. “That results in a large pricing benefit.”

The findings bring into sharper view some of the difficulties of selling legal marijuana in the state. The state represents the world’s biggest recreational marijuana market.


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