Shops that are operating unlawfully throughout Southern California are widespread, but making a black-and-white distinction has proved difficult. Many of the illicit marijuana shops in Los Angeles are selling the exact same kinds of goods that are offered through licensed retailers and farmers – but at a fraction of a cost. It’s a reality that, as The Orange County Register reports, even has some legal marijuana company owners selling black market wares on the side to make ends meet. These double-dipping players are part of the reason why black market weed in California is believed to be eight times the size of the legal market, though many of those involved say they have no choice when regulation and taxation have created a situation wherein they could not financially survive otherwise.
The stakes for illegal marijuana businesses in Los Angeles are high. As our L.A. marijuana business attorneys can explain, getting caught can mean loss of businesses, loss of assets (including homes, cars and bank savings), severe fines and even criminal penalties. Some have even designated so-called “go-to-jail-guys” to take the fall in the event they are caught.
City leaders say the only power they wield against the unlawful firms at this point is to make it so that black market sales isn’t worth the profit. Local government only has limited means to make that happen, but the Los Angeles Daily News reports the city has vowed to start with their power sources. Continue reading