Hidden in plain sight: California illegal pot market booming
LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s struggling legal cannabis industry is expected to grow next year to $3.1 billion, but it remains far outmatched by the state’s thriving illegal market.
A report released Thursday finds consumers are spending roughly $3 in the state’s underground pot economy for every $1 in the legal one.
California kicked off broad legal sales in 2018. But hefty tax rates and illicit sales are blamed for slower-than-expected activity in the new market.
The report by Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics projects sales in California — the world’s largest legal pot market — will grow 23% this year.
But those figures projecting robust growth don’t square with reports from many businesses that say they are struggling to keep their doors open.