California legalized marijuana with the hopes of prompting an influx of tax dollars. Proponents of the measures to legalize marijuana said that marijuana would be taxed and bring in much-needed dollars to the state for public use. They said legalized pot would get pot out of the black market.
Now, they’re saying that legalized marijuana can’t compete with the black market. They say that they need lower taxes in order to stay in business. Two California lawmakers have introduced a measure to lower the marijuana tax from 15 percent to 11 percent for three years. A Republican and a Democrat are working together to sponsor the bill.
Marijuana growers and sellers say that they’ve had a hard time competing in the market. They say that competitors continue to operate under the radar, and it isn’t fair. Becoming a legalized marijuana seller in California requires licensing. Sellers have to understand and comply with a long list of rules and regulations. They say it’s just too much when it’s too easy just to continue to operate underground.
Lawmakers say that they sympathize with those who are trying to do it right, reports Mercury News. They say that lawful sellers have to pay their taxes and make sure that they don’t sell to minors. There are also product safety requirements to comply with. It’s all so much easier just to continue to sell underground, they say. They say that passing the measure to reduce taxes can help bring sellers out of the shadows in ways that ultimately protect the public. It also gives law enforcement more time to shut down unlawful sellers.
Bill supporters say that the tax measure would lower the bill for consumers. They say that prices for marijuana sales would fall by nine percent for marijuana buyers. Sellers say it’s a start. They say the current regulations raise the prices of marijuana products as much as 60 percent above production prices.
Regulations on the industry include a sell by date on products. They say that the sell by date has limited the amount of inventory that sellers have to work with. They also say that because there are so many regulations in place, it’s often easier to give up than to work through the regulations and comply. They also say that marijuana prices are lower in nearby states like Washington and Oregon.
They say that regulations make it too hard for patients to access the medicine they need. Opponents say that the regulations are no different than they are in any other industry. They say regulations keep the public safe and ensure a level playing field.