Despite having several years and a large market, California’s legal cannabis industry is struggling. High taxes and fees drive up prices, while the majority of municipalities banned dispensaries entirely.
Consequently, consumers are faced with the impact of overpriced cannabis and the inconvenience of having to travel long distances for legal marijuana. This often leads them back to the black market.
But despite lawmakers once again forcing their own views onto the public, the Los Angeles Times demonstrates those views are not shared by constituents.
Even though the legal market proved to be a catastrophic failure (through no fault of its own), support for legalization has not been hit. In fact, it is higher than ever.
Most consumers want to see legal dispensaries in their areas, yet most municipalities decided against it.
The Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies conducted a poll at the Los Angeles Times’ request. The results were staggering:
“According to the poll, 68% of Californians say legalization has been a good thing for the state, an increase in support since 2016, when 57% of voters approved Proposition 64, which legalized growing, selling and possessing cannabis for recreational use. The poll results come as city and state leaders are battling in court and the Legislature over control of California’s pot market, including a dispute over efforts by California lawmakers to force cities to open their doors to cannabis shops.”
This alone should be enough to make lawmakers change their stance – at least to garner public support in the next election. But so far, opponents and supporters continue fighting ferociously while the black market exploits the situation.
A Massive Market
Increasing access to legal marijuana in California is absolutely essential. Not only is it important for fighting the black market, but it also means huge revenue opportunities.
According to the Los Angeles Times:
“California has emerged as the largest market for legal marijuana in the world, on track to post $3.1 billion in licensed cannabis sales this year. But that remains dwarfed by the black market, and revenue has fallen far short of expectations.”
While industry leaders blame licensing regulations and taxes for increasing cannabis prices by up to 45%, retailers also blame the cities.
About 75% of California’s municipalities banned recreational cannabis dispensaries.
Naturally, individual support varies from one city to the next. But the aforementioned poll showed that not a single municipality had a majority opposition.
The strongest number in favour of cannabis shops was in Los Angeles, at 69%. The lowest was at the Inland Empire region, at 57%.
Lindsey Robinson, Executive Director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, believes that this alone should be a wake-up call for lawmakers. She says:
“With this broad spectrum of support, it is critical that California’s local municipalities honor the will of the voters, overturn their bans, and give their constituents access to tested and regulated cannabis.”
But despite popular support, opposition is fierce among both opponents and politicians, who will double down rather than listen to the public.
WeedAdvisor’s Business Solutions
Although resistance is strong, we feel that – if history is any indication – the wall against cannabis expansion will eventually crumble. When that happens, we want to be active members of a newly successful Californian cannabis industry.
As new retailers open their doors, our solutions will help keep the stores running smoothly and efficiently. Services like POS, reward systems, compliance, inventory tracking and reporting are just a few services that our products handle.
We look forward to partnering with clients throughout the U.S. to make their journeys into the cannabis industry as convenient as possible.
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