Advocates Claim Craft Cannabis Space “On The Brink of Collapse”

Cannabis activists, small growers, and company owners called for tax reform in California on Thursday, citing mounting operating and regulatory expenses.

NBC News reported that people from all around California gathered outside the State Capitol in Sacramento to express their concerns.

Amber Senter, co-founder and executive director of Supernova Women, a nonprofit group that aims to develop opportunities for women of color in the sector, said: “We’re here today because the craft cannabis business in California is in crisis.

Senter and others are urging the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom to abolish the cultivation tax and the social equity retailer excise tax.

Thursday’s event grew out of business leaders’ calls for California to modify its cannabis tax policy. In a letter last month, marijuana businesses told Newsom that quick tax cuts and retail expansion were required to stabilize a market rattled by illegal sellers and cultivators.

They signed the letter after years of complaining about how the highly taxed business can’t compete with the extensive illicit economy, which has considerably lower consumer costs and twice or treble the sales of the legal market.

According to the CEOs, Proposition 64, which legalized cannabis in 2016, “was not enacted solely to collect taxes, but to terminate the criminal market, safeguard public health and safety, and build a responsible legal industry.” Our worldwide leadership and heritage are on the verge of extinction, four years after legal sales began.

“Excessive taxation has lost the chance to develop a vibrant legal market,” they said. “75% of cannabis ingested in California is untested and unsafe.”

Local taxation has always hampered small firms, say, owners and experts. A 15 percent excise tax, plus municipal cultivation, production, processing, distribution, and retail taxes have was implemented on Jan. 1.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom hinted this week that aid may be coming. The governor indicated Monday that he backed cannabis tax reform and will work with lawmakers to change the law.

In order to stabilize the market, he plans to examine tax policy. But it’s also about educating these communities on the benefits of regulating the legal industry.

A business controlled by white males for years but harming mostly Black and Latino people said Assemblywoman Mia Bonta of the eastern San Francisco Bay Area, who spoke at the event on Thursday.

Some $5 million was stolen from cannabis firms in Bonta’s neighborhood in November. Mr. Alston’s firm was robbed five times, according to Henry Alston, co-founder, and CEO of James Henry SF, an Oakland cannabis company.

Growing up on a family farm in Mendocino County, Casey O’Neill, proprietor of Happy Day Farms in Mendocino County, says he personally witnessed the drug war. His family had to escape for their lives in 1985 when cops “stomped our house for 30 plants.”

In the north stream bed, O’Neill stated, he and his brother fled with their pregnant mother. This day’s anguish shaped my earliest recollections.

The highly controlled cannabis industry in California, O’Neill says, is reminiscent of his youth’s anti-prohibition stance. High taxes, he claims, deter small businesses and disadvantaged populations from participating.

“The system is broken.” Many people’s dreams are dashed by unjust taxes.

Louis Levey is the Content Success Manager and Founder at No Strings Content. He's passionate about helping cannabis businesses use content to attract, educate, and convert audiences. His hometown is Boca Raton, Florida, but he currently lives and works remotely in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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