What Recreational Cannabis Legalization Means for California

Proposition 64 passed in California meaning that both medical and recreational cannabis is legal.

For many people this is great news. They can now choose to use cannabis without the decades old fear of incarceration. Just because cannabis is legal in Cali, it doesn’t mean that you can smoke it wherever you want.  You can only consume cannabis on private property or in designated areas at events and such. Don’t drive high or get high while driving. That’s still a no-no.

Several other conundrums are facing the state of California since they legalized recreational cannabis. As of February, this year there were an estimated 6,000+ cannabis dispensaries and canna delivery services that could be located on Weedmaps.

The state most definitely didn’t issue that many licenses.  In fact, they had only issued 580 state-licenses for cannabis dispensaries and delivery companies. 

California’s legalization of recreation cannabis has its share of hiccups, that’s for sure. To quote Ellen Bukstel “Once you turn a market black, it’s hard to turn it back.” Here are some of the concerns Cali faces.

  • Fluctuating cannabis prices caused by unlicensed (in a sense black-market) businesses
  • Product safety concerns
  • Tax evasion
  • Environmental concerns

The prices on cannabis could be driven down by a flood of unregulated and unlicensed product hitting the market. This means great profits for the black-market business but not so great profits if you’re legit.  Cannabis that hasn’t been tested by a certified lab is another area for concern. Cannabis is medicine and shouldn’t be grown with some of the toxins that some guerilla growers choose to use like Eagle 20.

Cannabis might be legal but not paying your taxes is still against the law. For those business operating without state licenses and regulations such as RF (Radio Frequency) tagging of plants, they get away with pretty much anything until they’re caught. 

Environmental concerns are another area that must be addressed. Licensed cannabis farms must follow EPA guidelines for agricultural processes. Guess what, not the guerilla grower. They all too often leave behind a devastating trail of garbage and hazardous waste. These are just some of the things the average person may not see when they see legal weed in Cali.