Extra hashish misery in California as main producing county studies decline in taxes

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4 dispensaries that had deliberate to open this yr haven’t but launched, and roughly one-third of farmers did not plant or harvest within the first quarter.

One more signal of misery within the authorized hashish market of California has surfaced, as Santa Barbara County reported that marijuana tax revenues have once more fallen quick, as 4 dispensaries that had deliberate to open this yr haven’t but launched.

The southern California county, which is likely one of the top-producing marijuana areas of the state, is a $1.8 million shortfall, 24% lower than officers projected could be collected, the Santa Barbara Unbiased reported. It’s the third yr in a row the county has missed its anticipated hashish tax revenues.

Now, the county expects to gather $5.7 million for the fiscal yr, which is able to solely maintain the price of administrating the authorized hashish commerce and leaving nothing additional for officers to spend on different county priorities.

A part of the issue is that the 4 dispensaries have didn’t but come on-line, and house owners mentioned they had been nonetheless ready for his or her paperwork to be finalized by county officers. Two of the 4 at the moment are anticipated to open within the fall, whereas the remaining two aren’t anticipated to open till subsequent yr.

In the meantime, the one two legally working dispensaries within the county additionally delivered “decrease than anticipated” gross sales and tax revenues, the Unbiased reported.

Out of 57 hashish farmers within the county, a whopping 20 reported that that they had not planted or harvested between January and March, and thus had no taxable revenues, whereas 33 reported gross revenues to the county.

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County Supervisor Bob Nelson vented at the newest assembly of the county board, annoyed that the 4 new hashish outlets had but to start serving clients.

“At what level do we are saying, ‘Thanks, however no thanks’?” Nelson mentioned. “They’re at this level profiting from the system, dragging their ft for years. A few of them have good causes, and others don’t.”

County officers additionally reported an ongoing drawback with so-called “burner distros,” that are legally licensed marijuana distributors which might be bought by criminals to make use of as entrance organizations. These operators buy legally produced hashish after which promote it on the underground market, usually in different states resembling New York.

Deputy County Govt Officer Brittany Odermann advised the Unbiased that burner distros – which have been an ongoing phenomenon in California for years – are “arduous to trace” and should usually buy from respectable growers attempting to run their companies by the e-book.

“They do it as soon as and disappear. The best way the unlawful market is flourishing is: They’re weaving into the authorized market. Growers are getting duped,” Odermann mentioned.

Maybe essentially the most high-profile Santa Barbara hashish farming operation – Glass Home Manufacturers (CBOE: GLAS.A.U) (OTC: GLASF) – has been embroiled in litigation with competitor Catalyst Hashish Co. since final summer time over allegations that Glass Home has been promoting its hashish to burner distros.

Catalyst’s management additionally has an ongoing lawsuit in opposition to California state hashish authorities, which alleges that the state has turned a blind eye in direction of the issue of burner distros. That lawsuit is slated to go to trial April 1 subsequent yr.

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