Tough times ahead for illegal marijuana businesses as California State imposes a $30,000 fine per business day.
California legalized medical marijuana in 1996 ending the almost century-long legal battle. Until then, marijuana was in the Golden state’s list of four banned drugs according to a constitutional clause of The Poison and Pharmacy Act of 1913.
The state legalized recreational marijuana in 2018 in what might see California become the world’s trade center for legalized marijuana for recreational purpose.
Although the Golden state legalized medical marijuana in about two decades ago, the new legislation is an accelerator to the fast progressing marijuana industry in the country.
At the time of legalization, California joined the list of the first six U.S. states to legalize the sale of recreational cannabis. Other states in the list included Nevada, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado.
In a 2016 national ballot vote, 57% of Californians voted in favor of recreational marijuana. To date, California barely consumes a seventh of its production capacity prompting illegal sales across state lines and lower prices in the black market.
Many cannabis distributors in the black market are yet to join the legal market despite the state government’s efforts legalizing recreational marijuana.
As Jonathan Duenas a marijuana customer states, he prefers buying marijuana at a cheaper cost from his friend who farms. Undoubtedly, this trend indicates that most people seem to get marijuana from illegal sources because of the high cost in the legal sector.
The number of licensed marijuana retailers is still low despite the efforts to issue more licenses to cannabis distributors by Californian cities.
Will California legal marijuana distributors get a pie from the marijuana industry with the many black market dealers?
The United Cannabis Business Assn. conducted a study that found out about 2,835 unlicensed marijuana delivery services and dispensaries thriving in California’s lucrative marijuana economy. The Bureau of Cannabis Control recognizes only 873 authorized cannabis distributors across California State.
Unlicensed marijuana distributors make more sales because they sale marijuana products at a very low price. The outcry of legitimate marijuana dealers to law enforcement agencies and state leaders is yet to see the light of day.
Marijuana industry projects a $3.1 sale from legal marijuana dealers battling against an $8.7 billion sale prospects from unregulated marijuana distributors.
People consuming illegally distributed marijuana are susceptible to health risks.
California state officials have already warned the public against untested flowers, vaping pens, and other edible marijuana products that illicit stores stock on their shelves.
Advertisements favoring unlicensed retailers are risking the health of consumers. Furthermore, unlicensed marijuana dealers evade the taxman and compliance regulations. They do not adhere to consumer protection standards.
The California State government passed an Assembly Bill 97 imposing tough measures against illegal marijuana dealers. The law will slap any unlicensed marijuana distributors with a $30,000 fine for each business day.
Nevertheless, the State is committed to license more retailers. Amid the tough factors that determine the retailers to license, the State will continue to take stern action against illegal marijuana dealers.
It will be a relieve for legal marijuana dispensaries and distributors if the State will actualize its threats on unlicensed marijuana distributors.