California Has Messed Up Legalized Marijuana So Badly, Now They're Offering a 'Rescue Fund' For Pot Shops

AP Photo/Hans Pennink

The political left loves to point to California as an example for the entire nation. Our own warden Governor is often heard touting California as a leader and a bellwether for the rest of the country. We hear all the time how California’s economy is the fifth largest in the entire world, we have the greenest energy, the most tolerant laws.

But California is not the gold standard in governance, which will not come as a shock to most informed Americans. In fact, it’s not even the “green” standard. In fact, this state is so overrun with incompetence that we can’t even sell weed properly. Imagine that…in the land of stoners the government somehow managed to even screw up marijuana sales.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting on a new $100 million dollar “rescue” fund that will be distributed to marijuana businesses across the state (but mostly in Los Angeles). The cannabis industry in California has struggled to navigate the excessive red tape involved in moving into legal recreational marijuana products. This shouldn’t be a surprise in the most heavily regulated state in the union. Some may be surprised to learn, however, that California legalized cannabis over five years ago.

Some may also be surprised to learn that while small businesses and churches were forced to close their doors for the last year, marijuana shops were open as “essential services.” So how can some of the only businesses left alone to operate through the pandemic actually be struggling to the point where they need a $100 million dollar injection?

They’re really not. Per usual, this is the California legislative assembly providing a bandaid for a gunshot wound. What is at issue is the extremely complicated regulatory process involved in providing recreational marijuana. What should have been a fairly uncomplicated business arrangement has turned into a nightmare of red tape, fees and changing rules. A cash injection helps with paying the ridiculous state fees, but does nothing to streamline or simplify the process. The natural result is to continue to drive cannabis users to the black market, where it is cheaper and easier to sell and doesn’t require six layers of Sacramento bureaucracy to sign off on.

Many cannabis growers, retailers and manufacturers have struggled to make the transition from a provisional, temporary license to a permanent one renewed on an annual basis — a process that requires a costly, complicated and time-consuming review of the negative environmental effects involved in a business and a plan for reducing those harms.

As a result, about 82% of the state’s cannabis licensees still held provisional licenses as of April, according to the governor’s office.
…Industry officials say the governor’s proposals do not go far enough in helping businesses struggling to stay open with provisional licenses while meeting what they see as burdensome rules under the state’s environmental regulations.

“It is a significant amount of money, but I don’t know that it actually answers the problem of provisional licenses making it through CEQA analysis in a timely manner to get an annual license,” said Jerred Kiloh, president of the United Cannabis Business Assn.

He said delays in cities adopting rules, their limited staffing and lack of resources by cannabis firms mean some face two to four years to get through the licensing process. Many would face the prospect of shutting down, at least temporarily, if they don’t get a regular license by current state deadlines, Kiloh said.

In short, the issue isn’t money (although no one enjoys the ridiculous fee structure). The issue is Sacramento.

California is so overburdened with so much insane red tape that the one thing we should be doing with ease has become an abject failure compared to other states with legalized marijuana. We are so completely upside-down that we can’t even get weed right. In the stoner state.

Don’t believe the hype. The fifth largest economy in the world? Well sure, but that is despite our state leadership, not because of it. It helps that we are home to 40 million residents and we house two of the wealthiest industries in the world – Hollywood and Big Tech, both of which kept working through the pandemic, both of which house the mega-rich and the recession-proof. If Silicon Valley picks up and moves to Texas, do we retain that title because of all the stellar law-making of brilliant Sacramento politicians? No. We sink like a stone. It’s nothing to brag about and it all sits on a house of cards.

The most tolerant laws? That depends on what side of the law you sit on. By now many have seen that sickening video of a man in San Francisco helping himself to a bag full of stolen goods in a local store. That is the result of Prop 47, which dispenses with misdemeanors for petty theft. Californians can steal up to $949 worth of goods per day without citation or prosecution.

Many identify this as a San Francisco policy, but it is actually state policy. It doesn’t take much imagination to suppose that allowing drug addicts and the mentally ill who choose to live on the streets access to that type of capital (which can be sold for drugs and booze or simply used to maintain a nice tent on Venice Beach) simply encourages more crime and more homelessness. Our gun laws are the most restrictive in the nation and we’re defunding the police across the state. Homicide in Los Angeles has skyrocket by 95% this year and the situation on the ground is so terrifying that the L.A. County Sheriff recently issued a statement saying he would be speeding up conceal carry permits for residents since the police are nearly helpless to protect innocent residents anymore.

The greenest energy? While Newsom sinks billions into Chinese windmills, Californians are subject every brutal summer to rolling blackouts because a green energy power grid is – pardon my French- for absolute shit.

California is the model of incompetence. It is so embarrassing it almost reads like a bad joke.

California is so incompetent they can’t even sell weed to stoners.

Recall Gavin Newsom.