Article by Fresh Toast via Growth Op,
An excellent article in Forbes about the pending legalization of cannabis in New York State points out a common failing in various state legalization laws.
I have been very critical of most state legalization policies because of their excessive taxes and “regulations” that raise costs and barriers to entry that make legal products more expensive than black market products.After real decriminalization that stops arresting cannabis users, even if they aren’t white, the primary objective of legalization should be to take marijuana out of the black market with hard drugs.
The Dutch call this the “separation of the markets.” If someone in the Netherlands wants cannabis, they don’t have to go to a poly-drug street dealer; they just go to the nearest “coffee shop.”
Unfortunately, as the Forbes article points out, the new laws that legalize cannabis growing and sales leave small growers in the black market. That is great for them, until it is a disaster.
Aside from the fact that I have a lot of friends who are growers, it is counterproductive to leave these good people behind in the black market. First and foremost, these people are not a social or public health and safety problem. On the contrary.
Of course, small growers cannot supply the mass market, just as homebrewers cannot replace the other Bud. The solution is to create a category for “small” growers who would pay a small licensing fee and comply with reasonable standards for public health and safety.
They could create grower co-operatives with their own “brands” that could be sold at “farmers markets.” They might then be able to broaden their markets. They would be subject to the same income taxes as lettuce growers.