California Cannabis Law Results In Unkept Tax Revenue Promises

With California cannabis law came several promises, one of which was to utilize the tax revenue to fund youth programs. Why hasn’t this happened yet? California cannabis laws have fallen short of delivering on its promises.

It’s been over a year since California began distributing recreational cannabis, yet there’s still no money being allotted to fund these programs. As the cannabis industry continues its growth, the big question regarding where this funding is going can’t be ignored.

One of the main issues with California marijuana law is that no one has put guidelines in place to determine how the funding for these youth programs should be distributed. Furthermore, no guidelines have been set up to show how these programs will be run and analyzed.

California cannabis law providing the state with something other than a list of guidelines regarding the distribution of the tax revenue associated with the happy herb is not necessarily new. Proposition 64, the proposition that made cannabis sales for adults 21 and over legal back in November of 2016, even has a section dedicated to ensuring a portion of the tax revenue will go to youth education to ensure “substance use disorder education, prevention, and treatment” are being funded.


The big issue here seems to be that Proposition 64 outlines an order to determine how the tax revenue should be divided up in increments. This list seemingly overestimated the cannabis tax dollars, resulting in California marijuana law failing to meet its funding promises. As a result, the majority of that tax money has been put towards startup costs and operations relating to state regulation.

Once this funding is fulfilled, the next tier is dedicated to grants for certain services in communities that feel the most effects from past drug policies, evaluating the effects of the measure, creating and adopting methods to determine if a person is driving under the influence of marijuana, and studying the risks and benefits regarding medical marijuana.

After the funding meets those needs, California cannabis law states that the remaining revenues will go towards youth programs, cleaning up and preventing environmental damage from growing marijuana illegally, and programs aimed to lessen the number of people driving under the influence.


Should this aspect of Proposition 64 be adjusted to divide tax revenue with a lower estimate in mind?

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