Calpeek knows that today is April 22, not April 20, but we still wanted to wish everyone a Happy Weed Day. We also want to remind everyone around the water cooler that if the water level is unusually low, not to worry. Just replace the water jug. April 20 only comes around once a year.
In honor of National Weed Day, Calpeek would like to talk about some serious issues related to marijuana. On Wednesday, the Sacramento Bee published a story about a dilemma facing California marijuana farmers: plummeting prices. There is too much legal pot available.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, marijuana use increased significantly causing farmers to increase production. Now that Californians are spending less time at home, usage is down. This leaves farmers with a large amount of produce and plummeting prices. Dispensaries are also seeing the impact of too much legal pot. Another factor in creating this glut of pot is simply more growers joining the market.
Another marijuana related issue that state and local governments are facing is the impact of marijuana products being taxed at a very high level. Retailers face significant expenses which, combined with the taxes, makes legal pot very expensive. Taxes have brought in significant revenue, but they may also be inadvertently propping up illegal sales. In 2019, the L.A. Times reported that “California’s black market for cannabis is at least three times the size of its regulated weed industry…” according to an audit by the United Cannabis Business Association.
And the third issue of concern on this 420 day is, um, well, Calpeek can’t remember. We will have to review our notes and finish this story another time.