The cannabis industry is on the edge of closing down, business leaders say, as they ask state lawmakers to ease taxes and regulations for the legal market, KRON4 reported.
“State of California, we are tired of the rhetoric,” Kika Keith, a business owner, said.
“The unfair taxation ends the dream for so many small farms and businesses,” Cannabis grower Casey O’Neill, meanwhile, raised.
The heavy cultivation taxes are being asked by rural cannabis growers and urban businesses to be canceled. According to them, they just increase their legal products’ price as customers opt to patronize the illegal market to get more affordable items.
It is unfair for small businesses in brown and Black communities to impose certain regulations like a storefront requirement before getting a marijuana license, industry leaders say.
“My pathway to licensure took over three years and over $400,000 in rent while waiting on regulators and bureaucratic delays,” Keith said.
Legal sellers are also raising security as another concern. They said huge cash robberies target them as they cannot acquire bank accounts in a legal manner.
Henry Alston said: “Our business has been broken into five times by five different groups of individuals. They took everything.”
The group was sided by Democratic State Sen. Steven Bradford who said that change is on the works together with the legislative leaders. “We could suspend the tax for the period of time or reduce it for a period of time. Again one of the things we really need to look at is the requirement by a lot of local jurisdictions for you to have a brick and mortar facility before you can get a license — it makes no sense,” Bradford said.
Gov. Gavin Newsom also heard the demand from the industry, and admitted that some lawmakers and he himself must work to have the concerns addressed.
“We have a lot of work to do in this space,” he said.