In California pot market, a hazy line between legal and not

California Marijuana-Legal and Illegal
Posted at 1:01 PM, Jan 16, 2022

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An unwelcome trend is spreading in California, as the nation's most populous state enters its fifth year of broad legal marijuana sales.

Industry experts say a growing number of license holders are secretly operating in the illegal market — working both sides of the economy to make ends meet.

Legal businesses have long complained that heavy taxes and regulation, paired with thriving illegal sales, make it impossible for licensed shops to turn a profit.

Industry executives recently warned Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom the market could collapse.

Some estimates say $3 of every $4 in the pot economy is spent in the illegal marketplace.

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