California has taxed weed so much sales have gone DOWN after full legalization
California now you can't even get marijuana right? C'mon you should have had this one in the (dime) bag. But the lust for government revenue knows no bounds in the once golden state these days I suppose.
But the market, as always finds a way.
While "state officials estimated there would be as many as 6,000 cannabis shops licensed in the first few years," the Los Angeles Times reported last week, "the state Bureau of Cannabis Control has issued just 547 temporary and annual licenses to marijuana retail stores and dispensaries." The New York Times notes that legal cannabis sales totaled $2.5 billion in 2018, which is about $500 million less than in 2017, before the first recreational shops opened. Marijuana tax collections amounted to $234 million at the end of September, which suggests the total for 2018 will be less than half what officials predicted and less than a third of the $1 billion annual haul they were expecting within a few years.
What went wrong? Nothing really surprising. California is regulating and taxing the hell out of cannabis, which makes it hard for legal suppliers to compete with the state's longstanding, extensive, and highly developed black market.