Calling all California entrepreneurs! Here’s your chance to join the stampede, according to Jerome Horton, a member of the state Board of Equalization. He predicts this about California’s legal marijuana industry: “It’s just going to be the wild, wild West out there.” Further, according to Michael R. Blood’s article, “there could be 25,000 cultivators who will register and begin paying taxes.” In addition, consumers will pay a 15% excise tax on retail purchases, growers will pay a cultivation tax, and local governments will take their piece, as well as new levies and regulations concocted by various communities.
So, let’s put this emerging economy into perspective. California projects collections to top over $1 billion annually from “backyard growers to sprawling fields in the farm belt, storefront sellers along rural roads to chain-store like outlets in Los Angeles.” Ok, here’s your calling entrepreneurs. Imagine owning a chain of these stores. Hmmmmm, I wonder what they might be called. Best Bud Co., or Kmartijuana, Corporation. It appears the Gold Rush of 1849 has been revived. In fact, weed is even on the stock market. Just in case you don’t want to be an active player in this new market place, you can sit on the sidelines and invest. According to moneymorning.com/marijuana-stocks, investing in these stocks are making millionaires! Just an FYI, there are 7 top picks noted.
Now, here comes the flip side of the coin and a question, “How many new jobs are needed to “police the market and make sure everyone is paying up?” Answer: according to Blood’s article, “by 2021, 114 positions” will be needed plus 20 million dollars in funding.” Those figures are already in question. Can we do a little math? As mentioned there will be about 25,000 new cultivators, but only 114 new positions to oversee the taxation. Here is the math: 25,000/114 regulators = 219 cultivators per each regulator. This does not seem like many to oversee-right? What are they going to do? If they have to travel around the “nation’s most populous state” then there is a problem, especially if the regulators have to go directly to the growers. Imagine that one! Down dirt roads, through the woods, and who knows what they’ll meet at the end of the road.
Certainly, there will be an attempt “to tame a market that now ranges from legal, medicinal production and sales to vast illegal grows operated by drug cartels,” sites the article. Board member Diane Harkey states, “Nobody knows how this is really going to work.”
By Sharla Esparza