Will California’s Legal Marijuana Cost More Than Black-Market Weed?
California is closer than ever to finalizing legalized recreational cannabis. But growers, dispensary owners and consumers alike might discover that legal weed comes with a hefty price–literally. With the prospect of legalized recreational pot looming, experts are wondering: Will legal cannabis in California cost more than black-market weed?
CANNABIS IN CALIFORNIA
The history of lawful cannabis in the state of California is a long one. In 1996, residents voted in favor of Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. When Proposition 215 was passed and enacted, California became the first state in the nation to have legal medical marijuana. This one act set a precedent throughout the rest of the country.
Ever since the Compassionate Use Act passed, the Golden State’s medical marijuana program grew and evolved. Today, California is widely known for having lax and flexible requirements for a patient to qualify for a medical card. However, because cannabis remains illegal on a federal level, a black market for it exists and thrives nearly everywhere.
Sri Lanka Says It Can Grow Better Weed Than the U.S.
Thanks to prohibition laws, the U.S. is a major buyer in the overseas trade in cannabis—especially hemp. Now, Sri Lanka has announced plans to begin producing high-quality medical cannabis that the country hopes to export to the U.S.
SRI LANKA PLANS TO ENTER THE GLOBAL CANNABIS MARKET
The U.S. is a key player in the global cannabis market. For example, many Chinese hemp farmers would be looking for other opportunities if it weren’t so hard to produce cannabis products here in the U.S.
This is what happens when farmers are prohibited from cultivating a crop that textile-makers, soap-makers and other legal enterprises need. And this is why the U.S. is the main destination for much of the industrial hemp grown in China.
Industrial hemp and medical or recreational marijuana are the same species of plant. They’re all classified as cannabis sativa. The distinction between the two, according to the 2014 Farm Bill approved by Congress, is THC content.
New Attempts to Outlaw Home Grows Are Stupid and Counterproductive
One of marijuana legalization’s original promises was the right to do it all yourself.
This cuts both ways. An integral part of the concept of “cannabis freedom” is the freedom to cultivate cannabis in your home. But at the same time, one of the very first excuses floated by authorities for opposing reasonable and sensible accommodations, like legal cannabis dispensaries, was that patients had the ability to cultivate a handful of plants at home.
This, they argued, meant that regulated retail sales were not necessary, which in turn opened the door for the idea that raiding dispensaries was a good use of time and resources.
This line of reasoning continues: Just because the voters approved medical marijuana for sick people doesn’t mean the voters approved a way for them to get any of it. Of course, this logic unravels at the slightest critical tug.
California Officially Calls On Feds To Reclassify Marijuana
Norway’s Crime Czar Busted for Hashish Smuggling
On Monday, a district court in Oslo sentenced Norway’s former top police official for organized crime to 21 years in prison for conspiracy to smuggle hashish. Eirik Jensen was arrested in 2014, after being secretly filmed in a meeting with Gjermund Cappelen, said to be Norway’s biggest hashish importer.
The two men were tried together.
The court found that Jensen had received 667,800 kroner (about $85,000) in bribes to protect Cappelen’s operations. Prosecutors said the total figure may have been 2.44 million kroner ($314 million), in exchange for allowing some 14 metric tons of hash to enter the country.
Cappelen got a reduced sentence of 15 years for testifying against his ex-protector. Jensen got the maximum sentence allowed by Norwegian law, according to Oslo’s the Local.
Microchips Used to Track Marijuana Found at Ex-Sheriff’s Farm
A former Kentucky county sheriff who allegedly provided cannabis plants to local black market cultivators to grow on his property was caught with the help of microchips and piloted video cameras.
Peyman, who once worked as a sheriff in Jackson County, purportedly grew the plants on his farm under the guise of the state’s newly-implemented industrialized hemp program, which was put in place after a decline in tobacco production, one of Kentucky’s biggest sources of revenue.
As per the Lexington Herald Leader, police obtained aerial footage taken 350 yards away from the Peyman farm discovered marijuana plants kept in a tree line enshrouded by weeds. After these initial findings, authorities then implanted microchips into six out of the 61 plants for tracking purposes.
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