California to crack down on marijuana black market

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Governor Newsom looks for stronger enforcement against the black market

Governor Newsom was one of the driving forces behind recreational marijuana in California even before he became the state’s governor. Now that he’s in office, he’s busy working on a number of challenges that have prevented the marijuana industry from totally taking shape. One of these, and one of the most serious, is the problem with the marijuana black market, which is still flourishing across California.

Newsom is hoping that he can get the California National Guard to take a bigger role, working with federal law enforcement officials to target the market. He is proposing calling at least 150 Guard troops to be redeployed along the U.S.-Mexico border to participate in the Counterdrug Task Force, a force established by the federal government. That task force would work to combat the illicit cannabis activity in the state.

Says Newsom, “There are legitimate concerns in Northern California particularly as it relates to illegal cannabis grows. They are getting worse, not better.”

It is estimated that as much as 80% of the marijuana sold in California comes from the black market, according to New Frontier Data. The illicit cannabis market in the state took in around $3.7 billion last year – four times more than the legal market took in.

Newsom is convinced there is a solution to the black market problem and feels that using the state’s National Guard will be able to make a serious dent in the illegal trade. He states, “We have to hold accountable those that are not participating in the legal market, particularly those that are continuing to profit off of illegal grows.”


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