Strict legislations and Proposition 64 are threatening and changing the California legal weed industry.
Proposition 64 was seen as a big step by many and set a tone of an optimistic future in cannabis. Proposition 64 is California’s Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act. It was passed in November of 2016. This meant once-felonious penalties for possession or cultivation of cannabis were drastically reduced to misdemeanors and or infractions. Once sales started in early 2018 the state was optimistic. By summer the state projected a $630 million windfall from taxes and licensing fees.
Looking back a year later things are not looking so good. The states Legislative Analysts Office has recently dubbed down on the lol to anything between $280 or $410 million. Some of the changes have the old professionals of the cannabis industry wishing for less regulated policies like those between 1996 and 2016. This was a time when private cannabis collectives were able to operate virtually on their terms. Municipals screen and inspect storefront dispensaries while paying local taxes. Although they officially never sold any “products” the members would reimburse the dispensary for the cost. Growing, storing and distribution where among the acquired cost. This allowed Growers and Extractors to run their businesses in slightly unregulated commerce; receiving untraceable cash allowing for black market distributors to flourish in plain sight.
Thus said Prop 64 was not as simple as allowing the sale of recreational marijuana.
The prop created a bunch of hurdles and government controls on the process. You have The Bureau of Cannabis Control, The Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis group, etc. Tracking seeds from crop to plant to bud on their seed-to-sale digital inventory system. They inspect and license. There is currently 47 different licenses among 3 agencies for new pot entrepreneurs.
In February 2018 the state of California Growers Association estimated 68,150 total cultivators. Thats not considering all the unmarked underground grows. We are not sure what the future of legal cannabis looks like, we just know theirs still some work to be done. It seems every time a grower makes the move to go legal, another regulation comes up double if not triple in price. This is squeezing the legal few into considering jumping back into the black market.