Cannabis’ Black Market Hold
A new consumer survey from Eaze Solutions and New Jersey-based Marketview Research Group has confirmed what many industry insiders already know: too many Californians are still scoring marijuana on the black market.
The survey, which relied on answers from 1,419 marijuana consumers in California and 331 in Colorado, found that 18% of Californians are still obtaining marijuana through illegal channels. That is making it extremely difficult for the regulated industry to compete.
Those patronizing the regulated market cited health and safety, accurate labeling, and electronic pay options as reasons to stay legit. But for those who continue to obtain illegal pot, money was key. Among the 18% who purchased marijuana from an unregulated source in the previous three months, 84% said they would do so again to save a buck.
Given the enduring incentives of cheaper, illegal products, the surveyors concluded that a 5% reduction in California’s cannabis tax rate could draw up to 23% consumers out of the black market.