Budget Dispute a Win for Pot’s Black Market

California lawmakers and Governor Jerry Brown can’t agree on how to fund a proposed crackdown on illegal marijuana. The main beneficiary of that squabble is proving to be California’s black market.

A dispute between the governor and lawmakers over how to pay for a crackdown on the illicit marijuana market in California has resulted in the $14 million for the effort being left out of a proposed budget, officials said.

Last month, Gov. Jerry Brown proposed the funding to create five teams in the state attorney general’s office to investigate California’s black market for marijuana. The proposal was made after businesses with state licenses warned that they are at a competitive disadvantage against illicit growers and sellers. However, a budget plan negotiated between legislators and the governor did not include the funding. The Legislature will vote on the plan this week.

Amy Jenkins of the California Cannabis Industry Assn. struck a tone of frustration, noting once again that commitment to enforcing cannabis rules is critical to the legal industry’s ability to compete in the marketplace. The CCIA will continue to push for greater resources for enforcement, she said.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times


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