Breaking News CSB – Legal marijuana arriving in California after decades of underground dealing

Breaking News CSB – Legal marijuana arriving in California after decades of underground dealing
Desc: Anew gold rush is sweeping California as the state prepares to launch legal marijuana sales Monday, bringing the powerful and largely underground economy finally into public view.Marijuana has long been one of California’s most important cash crops, albeit one many visitors would never see amid the vineyards and avocado farms.Now, tens of thousands of entrepreneurs are rushing to carve out a slice of an about-to-be-legal market that has grass-growing cannabis evangelists colliding with out-of-state suits eager to make a now-legal buck.And there’s a lot to be made: The state’s existing marijuana black market is worth .5billion, according to cannabis financial analysis firm GreenWave Advisors, while the legal market could be worth .1billion in 2018.“You’re taking an industry that was completely underground and making it the most regulated product of all time,” said Jessica Lilga, who runs a medical cannabis distribution service in Oakland, Calif.,and hopes to expand into recreational pot.“It’s just insane.” Legalization through voter approval of Prop.64, which created a system for legally growing and selling cannabis, also raises concerns about whether kids will start using more marijuana thanks to increased visibility and whether the state is creating a new Big Tobacco industry that puts profits ahead of public health.While five other states already offer legal marijuana sales, the Golden State’s sheer size is expected to reshape the pot industry worldwide, potentially driving down prices for consumers while generating hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes.It also holds the promise of wiping out criminal records for some people with previous cannabis convictions and helping longtime illegal drug dealers go legal by getting them licensed.Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana, but only Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, Alaska and Washington have functioning marketplaces.Massachusetts and Maine expect to begin sales sometime later next year.Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, but the Trump administration has made no high-profile moves against any state where pot is openly sold to adults.That has store owners scrambling to erect billboards near Los Angeles International Airport and flooding bars with street marketers.California rules limit marijuana advertising, so dispensaries are getting creative in how they reach potential customers.Med Men, which sells medical cannabis but hopes to offer recreational pot come Monday, is wrapping 30 trucks with advertisements for its four existing high-end dispensaries.Cannabis firm American Green even bought an entire town — Nipton, Calif.— to create a marijuana mecca.Because California’s marijuana law requires all cannabis to arrive in stores pre-packaged, growers and distributers are frantically developing branding and packaging to set their wares apart.“You’re seeing a lot more sophisticated people from other industries starting to move into the space,” said B.J.Carretta
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Breaking News CSB – Legal marijuana arriving in California after decades of underground dealing
Breaking News CSB -  Legal marijuana arriving in California after decades of underground dealing