The National Desk: "Waste Of The Week" - Could California be making more money from marijuana sales? 149_wotw_cali

September 3, 2021 08:40 AM



by ELISSA SALAMY, The National Desk

Originally posted at

WASHINGTON (SBG) - In 2016 California legalized recreational marijuana, a move that was thought to be a huge moneymaker for the state. But some say the move may be costing California money.

“California lawmakers layered on a ton of bureaucracy," said Open The Books' Adam Andrzejewski to Eugene Ramirez on The National Desk. “Today there are about 10,000 shops selling marijuana legally in the state. However, it costs about $250,000 to bring their temporary license to a permanent license.”

According to Open the Books, only 700 shops have a permanent license to sell marijuana legally in California.

“California is going to spend $100 million in taxpayer money to help these shops defray their costs and become permanent shops,” said Andrzejewski.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimates that California has raised about a billion dollars from marijuana sales in 2020. But Andrzejewski says that California could be profiting more from marijuana sales.

“About one out of every five sales are made legally through a legal dispenser of marijuana in the state of California,” said Andrzejewski. “Taxpayers and government could be reaping a lot more money if they didn't have all of this red tape, regulation, and the cost of doing business so high.”

The US Labor Department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs spent $10 million in Central and South America for issues such as workers' rights and gender and racial equity.

“This is a domestic Department of Labor engaged in foreign aid,” said Andrzejewski. “$100 million out of this International Bureau was being spent, and it's for unionization in private sector industries in foreign countries.”

According to Andrzejewski, of the $100 million spent, “every single dime” was borrowed.

“We can argue whether it should be done or not, but all of it is borrowed against future taxpayers as our national debt careens toward $30 trillion,” said Andrzejewski.

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