In a recent "Poor Me" article from the SacBee marijuana industry leaders complained about how the black market was stealing business from "Legal" businesses because of the high tax on their product. In reading this article I found several mistakes that made it obvious that the author Brad Branan either didn't do his homework or he's playing on the side of the industry and helping spread more misinformation. It was also obvious that these "Industry Leaders" were too busy selling a ballot initiative that they hadn't bothered to read or they were too busy getting stoned to celebrate the initiative making the ballot. If these people are the leaders of the marijuana industry then the industry has more problems then it realizes . It sounds like there is a whole lot of money and not enough brains.
Let's dig into the complaints of the industry and see what they're mad about.
One issue that Branan says the industry leaders are upset about is the high taxes on retail product. Well if these leaders had actually read the text of Prop 64 then they would have seen that it called for a 15% state tax to retail marijuana and allowed for local county and municipal taxation. It wasn't a secret that there would be additional taxes. Then someone with common sense would have known that the state of California has a sales tax that would apply to marijuana purchases, I mean it doesn't take a genius to figure some of this stuff out. Again, if these are the industry leaders this industry is in really big trouble.
Branan says that all states except Oregon have a state and local tax on recreational sales. According to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission's website cities and counties have authorization to implement % tax on recreational marijuana sales. I am even more convinced that Branan didn't do any research before writing this piece. After that claim he quotes Assemblyman Ash Karla of San Jose as saying " Moral judgments about this will stop when they see all the money coming in"........What money? Schools in Colorado, Oregon and Washington are asking where the money is at? Police Departments in those states are also curious to know where their money is too.
In conclusion here it is obvious that the author of this piece and the legislators quoted in it are in the pockets of the industry. It's only a matter of time before we find out for a fact that they are. Despite any claims made by Branan or any of the legislators, the claims of Legalizers in all of these initiatives are not happening. All of the issues that other states are having such as black market activity, teen use, BHO explosions and DUI's are only going to be worse in California.