Anti-Regulation Rhetoric in California plays into Big Cannabis Industry’s hands

- Advertisement -spot_img

Surely there are very credible reasons for wanting a less regulated cannabis market in the state of California. A very high tax rate is inevitably a deterrent for consistent pot smokers, where turning to the illicit market will save them hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars each year.

However, adhering completely to one single camp in opposition of another is means for blindness and exploitation.

For instance, those in favor of a lower tax rate on marijuana in California are also on the side of the big business Cannabis companies. And one company, CannaCraft, has published an op-ed that had made lots of waves when it surfaced last month. Written by their chief of government affairs, the article is convincing in its argument for less government overreach and the harm this has created already in the marketplace.

The problem, of course, is that many of its claims are wrong.

A nonprofit cannabis policy think tank called Getting it Right from the Start has fact checked the article, and here are some of the claims they have found to be untrue.

Fiction: “Legal cannabis sales are declining, and an emboldened illicit market is growing.”

Fact: The legal cannabis market in California is thriving. Dollar sales on the legal market are rising steadily and increased by 249% between implementation of Proposition 64 in 2018 and 2021. Although there is no way to determine the actual size of the illicit market, most experts agree it is growing. This growth, however, is driven largely by vast overproduction, much of it for export.

Fiction: “Despite popular approval of Prop. 64, only 85 of the state’s 500 municipalities allow retail cannabis sales.”

Fact: A total of 281 of California’s 539 cities and counties, or 52% of municipalities, allow retail cannabis sales either at storefronts or by delivery, and approximately 60% of California residents reside in these jurisdictions.

Fiction: “Today there are a mere 800 or so licensed cannabis retailers in the state. That means California has just two legal dispensaries for every 100,000 residents while other long-established recreational markets (Oregon and Colorado) have 7 to 9 times that many.”

Fact: There are now 1,485 licensed cannabis retailers in the state for a ratio of 1 licensed retailer per 26,422 residents, higher if considering only areas which allow legal sale. In the interest of protecting the health of youth and children from aggressive marketing, Getting it Right from the Start’s Principles for Cannabis Regulation recommend that ratio not exceed 1 licensed retailer per 19,000 inhabitants.

Sharpness and a healthy skepticism is needed when dealing with issues that can be abducted by corporations with ulterior motives. We can co-habitat on the road to the best possible marketplace for marijuana, but our motives come from very different places.

Read more about this at Times of San Diego.

- Advertisement -