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California's $100 Million Marijuana Bailout Tells You All You Need to Know about Its Government

fee.org June 21, 2021
California's $100 Million Marijuana Bailout Tells You All You Need to Know about Its Government

There are many great movies on the drug trade, but my personal favorite is Blow. The film stars Johnny Depp as George Jung (aka Boston George), a real-life drug smuggler who was sentenced to 70 years in prison in 1994.

Like most drug movies, Blow depicts the highs of the drug trade—parties, mansions, and rooms full of cash—as well as the lows: addiction, paranoia, and a loss of control. One thing that made Blow so good is it showed the incredible demand for drugs.

Whether they are dealing pot or cocaine, George and his partners can’t keep up with the huge demand no matter how much supply they get.

“I think it's fair to say you underestimated the market,” George tells his business partner, Derek Foreal (Paul Reubens), 36 hours after moving a huge amount of product he said it would “take a year to sell.”

80% Still Not Licensed

I bring up Blow in light of news that California’s legislature approved a $100-million plan to boost California’s struggling legal marijuana industry.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, the industry is in serious trouble. The growth of licensed cannabis shops has been dismal and far below state projections. Just 1,086 retail and delivery firms have been permitted to date—about 82 percent lower than the 6,000 cannabis shops the government anticipated.

How is this possible? Well, shortly after California legalized pot in 2016, lawmakers began burdening the industry with so many regulations—particularly myriad compliance orders associated with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)—that businesses are drowning under paperwork, fees, and delays.

“Many cannabis growers, retailers and manufacturers have struggled to make the transition from a provisional, temporary license to a permanent one renewed on an annual basis — a process that requires a costly, complicated and time-consuming review of the negative environmental effects involved in a business and a plan for reducing those harms,” the Times reports.


- read the rest of the article here

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