A year into the nation’s experiment with legal, taxed marijuana sales, Washington and Colorado find themselves wrestling not with the federal interference many feared, but with competition from medical marijuana or even outright black market sales.
In Washington, the black market has exploded since voters legalized marijuana in 2012, with scores of legally dubious medical dispensaries opening and some pot delivery services brazenly advertising that they sell outside the legal system.
Licensed shops say taxes are so onerous that they can’t compete.
Colorado, which launched legal pot sales last New Year’s Day, is facing a lawsuit from Nebraska and Oklahoma alleging that they’re being overrun with pot from the state.
And the number of patients on Colorado’s medical marijuana registry went up, not down, since 2012, meaning more marijuana users there can avoid paying the higher taxes that recreational pot carries.
Officials in both states say they must do more to drive customers into the recreational stores. They’re looking at reining in their medical systems and fixing the big tax differential between medical and recreational weed without harming patients.
– Read the entire article at Associated Press.