You can’t regulate criminal activity.
As was predicted by anti-marijuana groups, prop 64 resulted in a growth of marijuana black market –which now operates in plain sight and sometimes in concert with the legal market.
New Frontier Data, a Denver-based company that studies cannabis trends, estimates there are $70 billion in illegal sales nationally – seven times the size of the legal market. This means the legal market is “capturing only a fraction of total demand.”
A review of Weedmaps listings in mid-June found 229 illegal dispensaries in LA. The Los Angeles Police Department estimates the number is closer to 259, but no one knows exactly how many are in business. There are 186 licensed dispensaries in LA.
Law enforcement is trying and failing to enforce the law against these illegal dispensaries and the black market in general with little success.
The Los Angeles Police Department has accompanied city officials on operations in which they shut off utilities at illegal stores. Nevertheless, about 55% of the stores reopen within a week, said Detective Vito Ceccia.
“When we go out and conduct any type of enforcement effort, when we leave that location it is shut down,” Ceccia said. “It doesn’t mean it’s going to be shut down the next day. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be shut down in a week.”
“You can’t regulate a criminal activity. You can only enforce against it. The marijuana industry has always been criminal and having regulations will do nothing to convince criminals to abide by the law.”
-Scott Chipman, Vice President of AALM
“Let what is happening in California be a warning to every other state. We urge every city and county in California and every state in the country that has not already allowed commercial marijuana businesses to keep fighting against this drug dealing. Regulation does not and will not work.”
-Carla Lowe, President of AALM