Based on my reading of local government newsletters, I am convinced that a local law permitting marijuana dispensaries will not reduce or eliminate the underground market that is already in place. The underground market is what we like to call a “microbusiness” with small entrepreneurial individuals doing a brisk business without the burden of high fees and extreme regulation. 

This is the latest from the “California County News,” a blog I receive.

Marijuana businesses will have to fork over a lot of money. Applicants will pay $500 to $1,000 just to apply for a permit. The licensing fees then vary depending on the operation’s type and size -- from $500 a year (marijuana transporters) to a whopping $125,000 annually for the largest distributors doing product testing. Consumers are going to be shouldering much of the burden, along with a 15 percent excise tax and other local fees. That has raised fears that California’s black market could continue to thrive.

I have read many of articles, particularly about the coastal grows. Growers are not rushing to register and be regulated. Think of these business people as very independent business people. Why would a successful outlaw want to register?

In addition, there is a disincentive to register, because the State does not even have permanent regulations in place. Registering just exposes the independent business person/outlaw to unknown regulation.

Frankly, Corning’s city councilors the people have chosen, need to drop the rationalizations they are using for the pending legalization of marijuana; councilors who support ordinance to legalize marijuana sales should just admit they think it is a good idea and good for the community.

I voted for every of the city’s councilpersons, and my wife, Linda, and I think they are making a terrible mistake that cannot be undone later.

Steve Kimbrough

Corning

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