MIT: Michael’s Individual Thought’s
By Michael J. Montalvo
It’s been a year since cannabis was legalized for recreational use in California causing many ups and downs within the marijuana industry.
Proposition 64, a bill that allows the legalization of recreational cannabis, but also hinders the cultivation, transaction, and consumption of cannabis, enables the black market to continue operating through legal stores and companies.
According to the proposition, we are not permitted to smoke in public areas, but I see plenty of people smoking on CCSF grounds and around the city. People were already doing so before the implementation of the bill, so I doubt it will stop them now.
Cannabis has been in California for a long time before the bill was passed, and a year after the bill was implemented, we notice that it is actually hurting the cannabis business. According to Greenedge, a sales tracking company, sales has fallen about half a billion dollars from last year in medicinal cannabis.
Other states like Washington and Colorado are different than California, in that they don’t have a giant surplus. This state produces more cannabis than it can consume.
Some big companies can easily comply to new laws. They have the monetary advantage of establishing a legit operation and are able to scale their business like Jigar Patel, the president of the NorCal Cannabis Company.
However, most small companies are failing to even keep up with the paperwork, let alone the still-thriving black market. Since there is a 15 percent excise tax, in addition to sales tax and local fees on purchasing cannabis, it really discourages consumers from buying from local cannabis stores, but not me. You are guaranteed a better selection and a better quality of bud.
According to the New York Times, families who live near cannabis farms or stores are complaining about the traffic and the marijuana stench lingering among the community. Neighborhoods have been gathering to shut them down or, at the very least, demand their relocation.
Since California was already in the cannabis industry for a while, much longer than Humboldt county and anywhere else, I believe it’s going to take the state longer to adjust to the new laws, but once we adapt, everything will run much smoother.