The impact of marijuana legalization in California is still being analyzed by experts in marijuana-related issues. One of the main issues highlighted in the analysis is how the black market will be affected. Just because Proposition 64 was passed in California doesn’t mean everyone in the marijuana business will take part in the highly regulated market through the state government. While a number of these businesses will take part in the legal marketplace, some may lag behind in the black market, which is expected to take a financial hit. The expansion of the regulated marketplace in the state of California and the expansion of businesses that have access to the controlled marketplace in California will endeavor to cut down on any diversion and reduce out-of-state sales. These are reports according to the California Growers Association as presented by the executive director, Hezekiah Allen. Even though marijuana regulation will do some significant work to eliminate the dealings in the black market within California along with the exports, Allen believes that the black market operations may continue if Proposition 64 is not yet clear on some issues.
The absolute scale of the grow sites in California, for example still remains unresolved. Until now, the requisite number of acres needed for the cultivation of Cannabis in California is not known. As it stands, the land use could be three times more. So the question is: will all those acres for cultivation, some on trespass land, be entitled to enter the controlled market through any of the license types provided through Proposition 64, or will they continue to be illegally unregulated? As customers continue to buy marijuana from marijuana dispensary services, the foundation of the entire weed business should be well addressed and this is none other than the cultivations and control of unregulated enterprises. Therefore, the existing growers willing to operate under the state rules should be given the chance to trade their products in the state. Looking at the focus placed through Proposition 64 on emerging operations including the expansions of the business, California should be able to scale down weed production if the products will be kept in the state. There is no need for larger cultivations. On the contrary, what is needed are smaller grows.
According to Allen, between 60-80% of the black-market marijuana used nationally comes from California. Most of the weed cultivations, many of which could currently trespass on public land, yield thousands of pounds of bud goods that will never be in a position to get into California’s regulated market. Ideally, these operations exist for exports. Most importantly, this group of growers does not comprise of local farmers. In California alone, there are almost 50,000 grows within the state. The marijuana operations aimed at the diversion could account for a mere 10% of the total grows in California. However, their produce could be about 50% of the circulation around the state. This is something that has been overlooked by many because it doesn’t happen in the open. It is ideally a very separate system. They are not concerned about getting a license or a permit.
At the same time, shipments made to the East Coast could not earn over $200 of net profit according to reports from one of the dealers in the black market. Illegal marijuana cultivations and marijuana delivery services have continued to increase by the day. With such developments coupled with the legalization of recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, Maine, Washington D.C and so on, national shipments a feasible venture. On grounds of exports, the black-market marijuana coming from California is plagued by the recent legalization wave that is now gaining national momentum. These sentiments were shared by Brendan Hill, one of the owners of the Paper & Leaf dispensary in Washington. Unlike other states such as Colorado, California is surrounded by other weed-friendly states such as Nevada and Oregon. Arizona too, has its own program for medical marijuana. Even though California bud goes further than just the state in the surrounding, local marijuana will continue to be accessible to consumers through licensed sources. On the other hand, the black markets that depend on California weed will also dry up. There has been a decreased amount of marijuana imports from Mexico in recent times. If this was anything to go by, then this is probable as America experiences more states passing new marijuana laws that allow marijuana use.
Looking at the seed-to-sale tracking measures in place, it will not be easy for anyone to hide from the law enforcers. All ambiguity is almost done away with and therefore, there will not be any gray-market perplexity that has defined the marijuana industry for years. As long as the taxation and regulations are sufficiently friendly to the business, the illegal market will consequently be phased out. If the opposite happens with these regulations, then the illegal market may continue to operate.