3,394
 

Jan 5 - How California Is Doing A Year Into The Legal Weed Biz


 


section   (0 bx goons and 1 bystanders) Share this on Twitter       Share this on Facebook
 

 6 months ago '16        #1
4058 page views
64 comments


Aztlan 137 heat pts137
space
avatar space
space
$14,515 | Props total: 39654 39654
Jan 5 - How California Is Doing A Year Into The Legal Weed Biz
 

 
image

Californians have been able to legally buy recreational marijuana at licensed shops for about a year now. But that doesn't mean everything's running smoothly in the world's largest, or possibly now second-largest, legal cannabis market. (Canada's nationwide legalization in October now vies for the top market spot.)

Unlicensed retailers are still easy to find throughout Los Angeles, drawing scores of customers away from regulated, tax-paying businesses.

We talked to three players in the cannabis sphere to get their take on the past year, and what they hope the new year will bring for California's fledgling pot industry.

Jerred Kiloh is owner of The Higher Path in Sherman Oaks and president of the United Cannabis Business a*sociation.

Eric Spitz is founder and CEO of the cannabis distribution company C4 Distro, in Costa Mesa.

A team leader of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's marijuana dispensary task force granted us an interview on the condition we not use his name because of safety concerns.

These interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.

Q: Has the first year of legalization been going better or worse than you expected?

Dispensary owner: When January came along, and the initial newness of a recreational industry came around, it was really nice seeing the uptick in customers and volume. But then in July, new packaging requirements became almost a barrier to entry.

As a retailer, I couldn't carry anything that was not to the letter of the law inside my business. Even if you had done the packaging right, but you didn't have the right label on the outside, your package couldn't make it to the shelves. It pushed a lot of our customers to the illicit industry, because they were looking for the consistency they had before.

We had about a 50 percent increase in customer base in January, February and March. And now we're down probably that whole 50 percent — all the way back down to where we were, pre-January 2018.

Distributor: It's a sh*t show. That's literally the right word to describe it. The fundamental problem in the California system is that the state laws are not aligned with the local laws.

Enforcement doesn't happen evenly and then you have an entire system that is unenforced. As legal distributors, we only supply to licensed stores. In Southern California, we are inundated with unlicensed stores, and those unlicensed stores are robbing the players who are playing by the rules of revenue.

Law enforcement: The new laws have simplified the enforcement process. Before those laws, there was a lot of ambiguity. Dispensaries continue to be a problem, but we have cooperation with the District Attorney's office and the L.A. Board of Supervisors.

Civilly, they go after the landlord or the property owner where the [illegal] dispensary is, and then the District Attorney's office goes after them criminally.

Q: State and local taxes at legal shops can add more than 40 percent to the price of recreational marijuana. Is that pushing customers away from legal businesses?

Dispensary owner: Customers had become accustomed to budgeting for some of the brands. Now all of a sudden, that brand is almost twice as much. Well, now they might go to a black market dispensary to find a lower-cost product that is comparable to what they just had to give up. They can't afford it.

Even people who've been coming to my dispensary for years — I'm still seeing them leave bad reviews saying prices are too high, or you're trying to take advantage of us. We're getting to a point now where people are getting upset that we have to charge this much, and they're taking it out on the retailer.

Distributor: Consumers are going to go where the product provides the best value and the best quality product and right now, it's hard to argue that the legal, licensed stores are the ones that have the best value.

Nearly every successful cannabis company that I know is selling product into the unlicensed market, as well as the licensed market. If you have a pile of product, you're going to sell it where you can sell it. The unlicensed market is available, they want the product, sometimes they're willing to pay more because they can deliver to the customer at a lower price, given that they're not paying taxes. It's really a tough problem.

Law enforcement: Some of these [illegal] dispensaries are making over a million dollars a year tax-free. The penalty by law is not much, so they can easily continue to open in the same spot until the Board of Supervisors can get after the landlord and force them to evict that person who's running the dispensaries.

Q: How would you grade local enforcement efforts against unlicensed shops?

Dispensary owner: I think they're underfunded. There was over-expectation for very quick and swift reduction of the illicit industry. You can't have the kind of infrastructure that this gray market has had and just shut it all down overnight.

We're competing against people who can advertise on the same platforms we do. I mean, I sit right next to six other dispensaries on Weedmaps who are all illegal, and it's tough. I have to compete for that space. I don't know how Weedmaps is still in business.

There's a level of understanding that this is happening. But they're also slowly allowing the black market to really be in the most powerful position it's ever been in over the past two decades.

Distributor: Enforcement happens locally. And these municipalities simply don't have the resources nor the will to enforce marijuana laws at the state level.

If the state is going to step up and enact the laws, they need to be able to enforce them. And their argument today is that they can only do what they can do, and right now they want to bring people into the system as opposed to enforcing the laws on the people who are breaking the rules.

Law enforcement: We get a lot of complaints about illegal dispensaries — more complaints, in my experience, than you receive about "hard drug" houses, places selling things like cocaine. I would say the area that has the most problems is east Los Angeles so we're concentrating a lot of our efforts there.

I don't have hard numbers on how we've been effective. But for example, in the Antelope Valley, we've been 100 percent effective in that there are no more openly operating [non-medical] dispensaries. (Editor's note: Recreational dispensaries are illegal in all Antelope Valley cities. WeedMaps currently lists none in the AV.)

We've noticed cases where dispensaries have decided to move to jurisdictions in LA County where they allow marijuana dispensaries so that they don't have to worry about criminal penalties.

Q: What kind of enforcement would you like to see in 2019?

Dispensary owner: I want them to create an injunction against Weedmaps. They're collecting money, and advertising for these illegal businesses and creating unfair business competition. It's very confusing for just about everyone. Especially a visitor who comes to Los Angeles to partake in a new kind of California pastime. They don't have any idea how to find legal businesses.

Distributor: One solution that we've come up with, which I've been told is very far-fetched, is that the state put together a legal defense fund for the cities. Because not only is it costly for them to do the police work, they're also getting sued when they shut the stores down, and they have to defend the suits, they can't just walk away.

So this is an expensive process. And the expense comes when the cities have to enforce the state laws. Since the state is putting the laws in, they are abdicating responsibility by not coming up with an enforcement plan.

Law enforcement: Hopefully, we can get some more resources for enforcement.

visit this link Laist
+18   



best
worst
64 comments
 

 6 months ago '14        #2
G.W. 269 heat pts269
space
avatar space
space
$25,994 | Props total: 50020 50020
Good post.
+7   

 6 months ago '05        #3
kronzsw 59 heat pts59
space
avatar space
space
$7,237 | Props total: 14003 14003
if you know you know

+4   

 6 months ago '06        #4
Yung Dilla 1600 heat pts1600
space
avatar space
space
$65,344 | Props total: 75939 75939
Foh of course n*ggas will still go to the street because some dispensaries got greedy as hell with trash a*s price hikes. I go to L.A. cannibis co used to be called holistic pain relief.

In Inglewood on St Andrews place. I'll go there but mainly cop off a grower I know, he sells to dispensaries too. Fix your fu*king prices and won't have to worry about people going other places.


Last edited by Yung Dilla; 01-05-2019 at 07:37 PM..
+22   

 6 months ago '05        #5
BurninLz 35 heat pts35
space
avatar space
space
$11,327 | Props total: 4985 4985
I've bout had it with Florida's a*s backwards politics. Lived here for 30 years and it's still just more of the same. I wanna go have drinks with my friends, order some food for the table and a couple joints and edibles to go with it. Spending time in Vegas and California really opens your eyes to the nonsense. Time to end this bullsh*t
+23   

 6 months ago '15        #6
TrillTalk520 159 heat pts159
space
avatar space
space
$3,666 | Props total: 14545 14545
 Yung Dilla said
Foh of course n*ggas will still go to the street because some dispensaries got greedy as hell with trash a*s price hikes. I go to L.A. cannibis co used to be called holistic pain relief. In Inglewood on St Andrews place. I'll go there but mainly cop off a grower I know he sells to dispensaries too. Fix your fu*king prices and won't have to worry about people going other places
I had went to this spot out in OC called Grand Taoism back in June had some fire and good a*s deals on pens n flower n by September they weren't in business kuz of these packaging laws.

Went to this spot in Santa Ana called the joint and they were taxin like a muhfu*ka. Spent more than i should of but they had some pretty good selections
+10   

 6 months ago '15        #7
AmillionMo 10 heat pts10
space
avatar space
space
$5,019 | Props total: 8750 8750
Hmm

 6 months ago '18        #8
MYDICKSOCOLD 8 heat pts
space
avatar space
space
$2,221 | Props total: 8852 8852
 TrillTalk520 said
I had went to this spot out in OC called Grand Taoism back in June had some fire and good a*s deals on pens n flower n by September they weren't in business kuz of these packaging laws.

Went to this spot in Santa Ana called the joint and they were taxin like a muhfu*ka. Spent more than i should of but they had some pretty good selections
that's the plan

legalize it, tax the bajeezus out of the weed, force most growers into the black market, change the laws to make getting into the industry virtually impossible, then bust all the growers for tax evasion


[pic - click to view]

+23   

 6 months ago '15        #9
TrillTalk520 159 heat pts159
space
avatar space
space
$3,666 | Props total: 14545 14545
 MYd*ckSOCOLD said
that's the plan

legalize it, tax the bajeezus out of the weed, force most growers into the black market, change the laws to make getting into the industry virtually impossible, then bust all the growers for tax evasion


[pic - click to view]

Taxes alone were like 125 on the bag i got at the joint! Government is fu*kin the game up
+4   

 6 months ago '18        #10
Ringless Harden 16 heat pts16
space
avatar space
space
$1,356 | Props total: 3565 3565
 G.W. said
Good post.


[pic - click to view]

-1   

 6 months ago '18        #11
Ringless Harden 16 heat pts16
space
avatar space
space
$1,356 | Props total: 3565 3565
Hating on weed maps hard.

 6 months ago '07        #12
760 35 heat pts35
space
avatar space
space
$4,652 | Props total: 3513 3513
Its ugly out here. Legal shops hating on medical shops...medical shops officially illegal January 9th. A lot of snitching is going to happen leading to raids smh this is the last thing the cannabis community is all about fu*k recreational
+9   

 6 months ago '17        #13
dubsax 16 heat pts16
space
avatar space
space
$9,742 | Props total: 30600 30600
Grow your own
+6   

 6 months ago '15        #14
Sleezymcman 
space
space
space
$1,432 | Props total: 2068 2068
I only go to the club if I want to smoke some exotic. But the same sh*t u get at the club is on the street for half the price. Nobody is paying 60-75 for a eighth of weed. Foh.
+13   

 6 months ago '17        #15
Wavie Crockett 2 heat pts
space
avatar space
space
$1,333 | Props total: 3813 3813
@
+2   

 6 months ago '06        #16
d4deesnuts 3 heat pts
space
avatar space
space
$7,649 | Props total: 5402 5402
 BurninLz said
I've bout had it with Florida's a*s backwards politics. Lived here for 30 years and it's still just more of the same. I wanna go have drinks with my friends, order some food for the table and a couple joints and edibles to go with it. Spending time in Vegas and California really opens your eyes to the nonsense. Time to end this bullsh*t
Recreational will be on the 2020 ballot if we get enough signatures. I signed 2 months ago but thats all i can do on my part. A lot of ppl that i know that smoke most likely wont even bother trying to get it legalized. We got too many old ppl living here that think mj is evil still.ive debated on getting my medical license for oils but they charge like $80 for one cartridge, i can get 90-95% thc ones for 40 so fu*k that.
+5   

 6 months ago '17        #17
lucifershammer 19 heat pts19
space
avatar space
space
$5,851 | Props total: 28458 28458
sounds like every thing is going to pot

decriminalization > legalization

i think cali failed to be a model for legal
+9   

 6 months ago '17        #18
ASNKA 57 heat pts57
space
avatar space
space
$1,395 | Props total: 7192 7192
 BurninLz said
I've bout had it with Florida's a*s backwards politics. Lived here for 30 years and it's still just more of the same. I wanna go have drinks with my friends, order some food for the table and a couple joints and edibles to go with it. Spending time in Vegas and California really opens your eyes to the nonsense. Time to end this bullsh*t
they make so much money locking n*ggas up for weed in Florida i feel it will be a long time before they think about legalizing it
+7   

 6 months ago '16        #19
Aztlan 137 heat pts137 OP
space
avatar space
space
$14,515 | Props total: 39654 39654
 lucifershammer said
sounds like every thing is going to pot

decriminalization > legalization

i think cali failed to be a model for legal
It's all about the laws and regulations.

Bad policy will always drive business towards the black market, regardless of the good.
+4   

 6 months ago '15        #20
PolygonMafia 4 heat pts
space
avatar space
space
$2,139 | Props total: 7489 7489
All my friends down there with Rec licenses are trapping out the back to keep bills paid. The grey/black market in Cali is still so deeply rooted that the only way the state/suppliers can hope to compete is driving the cost down and working to bust farms. Neither of which I agree with as moral or good long-term solutions.

WA ain’t much better. OR has SO MUCH god damn boofy outdoor it’s insane. Lb’s for $100 easy from some of these cats who are struggling

The shakedown of legalization is going to be crazy. Only going to get weirder until national legalization, then that’s a whole different can of worms
+8   

 6 months ago '18        #21
BrooklynDamien 4 heat pts
space
avatar space
space
$3,455 | Props total: 15188 15188
60 for an eighth... Nobody is paying that...if they are they dumb af. Dude said why in the post though. They are being taxed more so they gotta charge more. Naggas ain't gotta pay more cuz fawk that r2d2 shat, just gimme some kush... 100 a pound sound like I'm gonna see what Oregon looks like this spring...
+6   

 6 months ago '17        #22
lucifershammer 19 heat pts19
space
avatar space
space
$5,851 | Props total: 28458 28458
 Aztlan said
It's all about the laws and regulations.

Bad policy will always drive business towards the black market, regardless of the good.
its a bad start if the motive for legalization is another source of tax rather decriminalization of citizens

thats what i see
+8   

 6 months ago '05        #23
HARBINGER 461 heat pts461
space
avatar space
space
$54,154 | Props total: 14007 14007
 AmillionMo said
Hmm
This

 6 months ago '08        #24
litdes 
space
space
space
$2,338 | Props total: 2782 2782
 lucifershammer said
sounds like every thing is going to pot

decriminalization > legalization

i think cali failed to be a model for legal
Exactly!

 6 months ago '11        #25
Broseph Stalin 57 heat pts57
space
avatar space
space
$6,316 | Props total: 17028 17028
legalization was supposed to make bud cheaper and more accessible to the public but federal government and even local politicians make the hoops dispensaries have to jump thru so fu*king high like what dude was saying about not being able to have anything on the shelf that's not approved down to the labeling. All this sh*t in turn drives up prices so why stop fu*king with a street dealer who's prices are probably better?


They been playing this game in Massachusetts over 2 years now. Weed is legal recreationally but the store requirements and licenses to open a shop are crazy and even then a lot of towns aren't willing to budge cause they think its linked to the opiate epidemic smh
+4   

Home      
  




 


 
 

yesterday...


most viewed right now
+18online now  64
Jul 15 - Killer decapitated Instagram star “ex” 17, then shared photo of her b..
281 comments
2 days ago
@misc
most viewed right now
+18online now  61
Image(s) inside Almost drowned in her pus-y so I swam to her butt
14 comments
19 hours ago
@thotsdimesetc
most viewed right now
online now  38
The panhandlers in Mexico put the panhandlers in the US to SHAME!
24 comments
19 hours ago
@wild'ish
most viewed right now
+16online now  9
Image(s) inside Jul 16 - Kellyanne Conway loses it and demands to know a reporter’s ‘e..
71 comments
19 hours ago
@news
back to top
register contact Follow BX @ Twitter Follow BX @ Facebook search BX privacy