CNBC Investigates: L.A.’s Black Market is Killing Legal Cannabis

As CalMarijuanaPolicy has noted time and again, the illicit market for commercial pot is a serious problem in California, largely contributing to a $655 million gap between expected tax receipts and what was actually collected last year. Nowhere is this problem more stark than in the City of Los Angeles. There, some 250 illegal dispensaries dwarf the 186 that have received licenses so far.

CNBC recently visited 10 of these. The network sent an undercover team to investigate but it hardly seems necessary. As the footage shows, L.A.’s illegal shops are operating like normal businesses — in plain sight and with impunity.

Cameron Wald of Project Cannabis says the legal industry is “outraged” by the situation. The thriving black market not only places the public’s health at risk, but makes it difficult for legal operators to turn a healthy profit. An illegal dispensary can charge about 40% less than a dispensary that has undergone the lengthy and expensive process of permitting and compliance. That’s a big deal.

Watch the CNBC segment “Weed Killers” here



Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 04:32

Likening the proliferation of illicit marijuana cultivation to a “raging forest fire,” Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey is once again urging the governor to declare a state of emergency.