Ah, legal cannabis. The answer to all of our problems, or so we thought. As more and more states and countries legalize the green stuff, one thing has become increasingly clear: legal cannabis is expensive. So, what gives?
Well, for starters, legal cannabis businesses have to comply with a ton of regulations. And we mean a ton. From security requirements to packaging and labeling standards, the list goes on and on. In California, it can cost up to $200,000 just to obtain a license to operate a legal cannabis business. In Connecticut, it’s a $6,000 for the application and registration fees combined. That’s nonrefundable, whether you’re selected or not. Plus that all depends on if they’re running a lottery or not. CT loves lotteries.
Oh, and let’s not forget about taxes. Legal cannabis businesses are hit with higher taxes than black market operators. In Colorado, the state tax on cannabis is 15%, while local governments can tack on their own taxes as well. Here in Connecticut, it’s a whopping 20%. You might want to hold off on that next purchase.
Then there’s the issue of scale. Many legal cannabis businesses are small and operate on a local or regional level, while black market operators can produce and distribute cannabis on a much larger scale. This leads to higher production costs for legal businesses, which are passed on to the people.
And let’s not forget about supply and demand. In areas where cannabis has been legalized, there’s often a limited supply of legal products, which drives up prices. Meanwhile, black market operators can produce and distribute freely, leading to lower prices.
But fear not cannabis enthusiasts. As the industry grows and evolves, prices are likely to come down as the industry becomes more efficient and competition is put in the mix. And in the meantime, we can all just appreciate the fact that weed is “Legal”. Right?