I can only speak for California, but being a licensed operator here bears an incredible cost. Whether by design or not, it seems that only those with the deepest of pockets with practically unlimited access to capital will be the last ones standing. Because it’s almost a guarantee that any licensed manufacturer is going to be operating in the red for the first few months as they go through the process of becoming compliant.
But aside from that, California has a big conundrum on its hands, because the market seems to be sharing your disdain for legal weed prices. Some municipalities are causing consumers to pay up to 40% on taxes, which is enough to make even the most health conscientious consumer go back to the black market. Lawmakers just saw $$$ and went for the money grab, without thinking through the fact that they would have to be competing with a thriving underground economy that is the black market. Now they are wondering why they’ve only collected $400 million of the billion in revenue they projected to receive for this year.
The BCC has just launched a public awareness campaign that’s attempting to educate the consumer on the benefits of buying from licensed dispensaries, but i doubt it will be very effective at convincing people otherwise. The only way i can see something like this being effective is by going all in with a reefer madness style fear mongering borderline propaganda camapaign highlighting the levels of contaminants found in black market weed and extracts, and some of the fatal consequences that have occurred from consuming it.
I noticed that with the recent uptick in enforcement that’s playing out here in Cali, that black market prices are also back on the rise. It’s interesting to see how all this is going to play out. These are interesting times we are living in here in the wild wild west.