Advertisement

In California pot market, a hazy line between legal and not

In this April 15, 2019, file photo, a vendor makes change for a marijuana customer at a...
In this April 15, 2019, file photo, a vendor makes change for a marijuana customer at a cannabis marketplace in Los Angeles. An unwelcome trend is emerging in California, as the nation's most populous state enters its fifth year of broad legal marijuana sales. Industry experts say a growing number of license holders are secretly operating in the illegal market — working both sides of the economy to make ends meet. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)(Richard Vogel | AP)
Published: Jan. 16, 2022 at 10:33 AM PST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LOS ANGELES (AP) - An unwelcome trend is spreading in California, as the nation’s most populous state enters its fifth year of broad legal marijuana sales.

Industry experts say a growing number of license holders are secretly operating in the illegal market - working both sides of the economy to make ends meet. Legal businesses have long complained that heavy taxes and regulation, paired with thriving illegal sales, make it impossible for licensed shops to turn a profit.

Industry executives recently warned Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom the market could collapse. Some estimates say $3 of every $4 in the pot economy are spent in the illegal marketplace.

(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)