With less than a week for California to fully legalize recreational use of pot, there is a lot of speculation from consumers, marijuana dispensaries, and other industry stakeholders on how this will impact the state. Currently, the state leads in weed growth and exports in the entire of the US.
Businesses and other Stakeholders
To use pot for recreational purposes will be more expensive than using it for medical purposes, for the former will be subject to taxation. Consumers who don’t qualify to use pot for medical purposes will have to dig deeper into their pockets to get the product.
Business involved in the growth, processing, dispensing, and shipping, especially small ones have a reason to worry. As much as there will be surge in demand that will most likely see marijuana dispensaries and other industry-businesses make more sales come January, eventually more investors will invest in the industry which may push them out of business.
All pot businesses will be required to meet standards for use of pot recreational and medical purposes. Of course, their product will be subject to quality checks.
California’s weed regulators heavily borrowed from other states that have legalized use of pot for recreational purposes. A comprehensive set of laws has been developed to regulate the industry, and these affect all stakeholders including growers, processors, dispensaries, shipping businesses, and consumers.
Only individuals over 21 years of age can use pot for recreational purposes, and the substance can only be smoked in certain locations. It will be illegal for an individual to smoke pot in any public space where smoking cigarettes is not allowed. Also, it will be illegal for anyone to smoke pot in an automobile.
Recreational Marijuana dispensaries and other businesses in the industry including, growers, and entrepreneurs will be barred from operating within 600 feet of schools and must maintain 24/7 security surveillance.
Lawmakers are also in the process of devising a banking plan for the pot industry that will improve security, as cash transactions encourage robberies and other illegal activities. They are also voting against allowing pot businesses to deliver the substance via self-driving cars or drones.
The State also plans to start taxing the pot industry so it can raise the projected $1 billion annual tax revenues from the legal recreational use pot industry. The latest development with regards to this is a plan to introduce a 15 percent excise tax on all weed product purchases before cannabis delivery businesses ship them to customers. As the product is subject to other local and state taxes, a number of consumers will pay an effective tax rate as high as 45 percent on every purchase of recreational pot use.
Other laws to protect the environment will also be implements, and these will highly impact on weed growers.
Challenges to the Law
The major obstacle for California’s pot industry is the federal government. Weed sales are outlawed under federal law, and Trumps law enforcement officer, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has openly expressed his despise for pot. Sessions has not ruled out the possibility of prosecuting marijuana dispensaries and other pot businesses, regardless of whether they are operating legally as per state laws.
With all these efforts, the Californian weed industry is likely to be one of the best in the US. However, we will wait to see how things will be going.