Pros and Cons of Legalizing Marijuana in California

California has one of the largest cannabis industries in the world. There are thousands of dispensaries, coops, collectives, and delivery services to choose from, but they are only available to citizens with a medical marijuana card.



There is currently a debate raging throughout the state on whether the medical industry services everyone’s needs just fine, or if California should follow in Colorado and Washington‘s footsteps by legalizing for recreational sales.

Everyone has their opinion (and we might be a bit biased), but here are some pros and cons of CA going rec:

PROS

It’s a plant, and it should be legal!

There’s a lot of arguments for legalizing cannabis, but the simplest one is that it’s a natural product that grows in the ground. American citizens should be intelligent and respected enough to be able to treat it as they please.

– California Cannabis Industry already booming

It’s estimated that there’s already a billion dollar cannabis industry in California. The next step is for that industry to be brought completely above-ground, regulated, and taxed.

– Would legitimize the industry and apply much needed regulatory structure

Currently, no one knows how many dispensaries are in Cali. Estimates put it at over 2,500, but very few are regulated. Which means, consequently, that very few are taxed…

– Tax Revenue for the state (CO raked in millions the first year alone)

What state doesn’t need tax revenue right now? Colorado has been able to collect millions that they claim will go towards schools and education.

– Incredible Business Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

The cannabis industry has already created thousands of jobs and spawned as many great ideas. Many compare the emerging cannabis industry to the dotcom boom in the 90’s.

– It’s great for tourism

State’s with legal pot have been killing it lately in tourism revenue. Tourism brings business to local establishments, and thus, more tax revenue for the state.

CONS

– Some believe legalization would destroy the current medical industry

There’s a huge medical industry in California. Legalizing and regulating could force it even further underground or jeopardize its future entirely.

– If regulatory structure is not adequate, can go very wrong (cough, Washington)

The Retail Marijuana rollout in WA has not gone well. Well, it’s going better. It’s become clear that without a clear and sufficient regulatory structure, an emerging cannabis market can cause a lot of problems.

– Taxation will cause a slight price increase in the market

With taxes comes lower margins for dispensaries, which is generally followed by minor price increases. We saw this in Colorado at first, but prices quickly normalized with more locations opening. We’re now seeing prices as low as $89/ounce for retail marijuana (thanks LivWell!)