Legal weed in Cali sold $2.5 billion in REC’s debut year and is on pace to do $3.1 billion in 2019. No state (or country) comes close to our monetary or cultural clout. California will always be to American cannabis what African America is to the nation’s popular music: Fundamental to the point where, if we ain’t in the equation, somewhere, the default Stateside assessment is to question the stuff’s veracity.
For better or worse, we lead the widening world of weed. Beyond the massive full-iceberg industry, is our socio-political clout. When our social programs arrive wonky, the states who follow treat our work as building blocks, improving on what we reveal to be possible. When we respond to a crisis in vaping by — as a wag in publicity shared—hoping the issue would disappear Ralph Northam-style, the entire industry suffers.
- When does increasing sales by 24% feel like a loss? When sellers are charged a 15% excise tax on top of city and county taxes. (Don't forget the grower’s cultivation tax—$9.25 per ounce of flower, $2.75 per ounce of leaves.) As total industry taxes are going as high as 45%, it’s appropriate to view Oakland’s Nov. 19th City Council meeting, when it could cut pot taxes, as a potential inflection point.
- Gov. Newsom recently signed a raft of new legislation that is unlike any on U.S. books, including a law allowing cannabis companies to donate cannabis to low-income medical marijuana users. Also, cannabis that does not initially pass testing can now be re-tested by companies to correct for minor errors. Previously, failing weed was destroyed. Need-based fee deferrals, mandated labor unions, and permission for UC San Diego to study the plant all will resonate beyond our borders.
- Palm Springs City Council passed ordinances including a zero tolerance policy for businesses emitting a weed odor. “No one, whether you live across the street or three miles away, should be subject to cannabis odor where you live,” said Mayor pro tem Geoff Kors. “That has to stop.”
Palm Springs Desert Sun