The New Trend: Marijuana Tour
Legalizing marijuana in California has dominated California’s black markets to post-legalization products. Black market for cannabis started from long ago before its voters legalized the marijuana in California. However, after the legalization, enforcement has made illegal markets to become slow and steady. Although the black market for cannabis has shrunk, there is a concern for such high tax may bring people to divert in-state sales to black market. According to Fitch Rating, it states that, “In the handful of states that legalized nonmedical cannabis prior to 2016, tax receipts have generally outpaced initial revenue estimates and have show strong year-over-year gains.” Marijuana market has brought huge revenue for both state and local treasuries, however, if the tax keeps increasing, there is a concern for people diverting back to black market.
In Addition to consumer shifting from black market to legal marijuana market, California’s marijuana legalization has brought huge change in California tourism. It is believe to be estimate of 200,000 people will be visiting state of California for marijuana tour. There is only expected estimate number of people coming for tourism. No actual data to provide accurate analyze on marijuana tourism exist.
Although, the actual impact and changes of marijuana tourism is in debate, since of 2017, marijuana legalization in California brought many changes to California local business owners. Rentals like Hotels.com or Airbnb are now accepting tourist to consume marijuana at their property. In addition, due to the increase number of marijuana consumption, California government has increased the state and local tax to almost two percent from the regular percentage, making total of twenty percent for just tax. The price for one ounce is now almost seventy to eighty dollars.
Government has increase the price intending to drop down the percentages of smokers, concerning for smoker’s health. However, there was no change on percentage of marijuana smokers; result was the same as before they have increased the government and local taxes.
For the first few month from January 2017, the percentage of marijuana sales seems to be dropping down to between 30 to 40 percent; however, percentage went back up after few months. According to Los Angeles Times, article states “California’s previous marijuana taxed price was 10th highest in the country. Now, the percentage of new local and state tax ranks 9th among the state that legalized marijuana”. Resulting one of highest taxed states on marijuana, California Department of Public Health has announced that statistics shows that about 3.1 million people smokes, in other words every one out of five California residents smokes.
Moreover, not only the taxes for marijuana went up, but also all of marijuana products local and government tax have increased. Proposition 56, which has expanded the meaning of marijuana, included the products of any type of device sold in combination with marijuana such as e-vapes, e-pipes were heavily taxed too.
Generated tax from marijuana sales revenue is believed to be $1.4 billion in its first year. According to The Mercury News, California’s state government has announced that they will be using the revenue towards Medi-Cal to provide health coverage for poor and low-income family. Also, rest of the funds will be used to research and invest marijuana products and long-term effects.