Legalization of cannabis is one thing, but regulation is another.
Since the passage of Prop 64 in California this past election, ganjapreneurs have been busy touring the state and researching opportunities to start a new business in an exciting new market. Investors are chomping at the bit to find a the right algorithm of advisors, growers, marketers and the like to apply for and win licenses. Ensuring that one has access to the right minds, the right inputs, and the right networks will be essential to becoming a player in the cannabis world.
But for some, the market has been there all along, as have the consumers and the networks. The profits from a grey market are just as attractive as profits from a black market, and Californians are watching the process unfold, as the Cannifornian reported:
Of course, some dispensaries sold weed to just about anyone long before Prop. 64 passed. But the legalization law seems to have made these shady players even more brazen. A search on Weedmaps.com turned up many shops that now openly state they’ll sell everything from infused gummy candies to concentrated waxes after verifying only the buyer’s age, not his or her medical status.
“‘I think that they’ve gotten more emboldened,’ said James Wolak, captain of the Narcotics Bureau for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “People feel like now that it’s legal, anything goes. And that’s just not the case.'”
Legalizing cannabis means straddling the transition of strong and existing underground market structures to regulation, oversight, public influence and governmental interference. There is clearly tension between illegal operators and those willing to investment millions of dollars to be compliant.
While other states have taken the lead on changing legalization of cannabis from a medical system to a full adult-use market, California obviously has unique aspects which will affect the outcomes of the next few months. There will be regulatory challenges and obstacles, but those who can survive the hurdles will have the huge opportunity to participate in the world’s sixth largest economy. It will certainly be rewarded to be as prepared as possible for the upcoming rules that the California cannabis industry will have to abide by.
Want to know more and learn how you can navigate the largest cannabis market in the world? Come be a part of the conversation at the International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco, for a one-day only event at the San Francisco Hilton Union Square on February 17th, 2017, where you will have the chance to ask questions of California’s Cannabis Czar firsthand. Early bird prices end on February 1st!