Meanwhile, Mexican drug cartels turn Northern California into ‘The Wild West’.
California’s pot industry representatives sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom, explaining that the state’s legal industry is on the verge of collapse. It needs immediate tax cuts and a rapid expansion of retail outlets for relief.
The letter signed by more than two dozen executives, industry officials and legalization advocates followed years of complaints that the heavily taxed and regulated industry was unable to compete with the widespread illegal economy, where consumer prices are far lower and sales are double or triple the legal business.
Four years after broad legal sales began, “our industry is collapsing,” said the letter, which also was sent to legislative leaders in Sacramento.
Between cultivation taxes and the limits on dispensing facilities, California’s rules appear to be strangling the newly legalized industry.
The industry leaders asked for an immediate lifting of the cultivation tax placed on growers, a three-year holiday from the excise tax and an expansion of retail shops throughout much of the state. It’s estimated that about two-thirds of California cities remain without dispensaries, since it’s up to local governments to authorize sales and production.
The current system “is rigged for all to fail,” they wrote.
“The opportunity to create a robust legal market has been squandered as a result of excessive taxation,” the letter said. “Seventy-five percent of cannabis in California is consumed in the illicit market and is untested and unsafe.”
“We need you to understand that we have been pushed to a breaking point,” they told the governor.
Meanwhile, Mexican drug cartels are organizing to illegally grow large crops in the hills and valleys of Northern California.
The cartels are essentially returning that state region to the days of “The Wild West.”
Lured by America’s push toward legalized cannabis, cartels have abandoned many decades-old marijuana farms in Mexico, moving their operations to Northern California where they can blend in seamlessly alongside legitimate grows, said Mike Sena, executive director of Northern California’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task forces.
“Why try to bring that bulk marijuana into the United States, when you can just grow it in the United States in remote locations like Mendocino County and then move it across the entire country?”
…It has essentially returned that part of the state back to the days of the “Wild West”.
“It’s the Wild West,” said Sena, who is based in San Francisco and oversees 22 federally funded drug task forces throughout Northern California. “We’ve got people in gunfights on a regular basis over marijuana.
Not one of these consequences was mentioned when the concept of legalized marijuana was voted in as 2016’s Proposition 64 passed.
And while the state and federal governments focus on a virus that is devolving into one that causes terrible colds, one state in the Union is on the verge of becoming Sinaloa North.DONATE
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