After calls for cannabis to be legalised in the UK police chiefs in Los Angeles – the state’s largest legal weed market – say there’s been a rise in illegal cannabis market even though recreational marijuana was legalised back in January….
But there are hundreds of illegal cannabis stores where customers can buy the drug at cheaper prices than at the heavily regulated and taxed legal dispensaries.
California regulators sent out almost 1,000 cease and desist letters to marijuana businesses they suspected were illegal in April alone.
And in May 142 people were charged in a massive crackdown on the illegal shops.
Lt Spell, who oversees the division’s cannabis unit, said there had been much more “illicit activity” in the past few months.
And he said one of the biggest falsehoods about legalising marijuana is that it will curb illegal activities.
He told Sun Online: “Here in Los Angeles we see a large number of illegal retail stores.
“But we also come across a lot of illegal grows – places where people are growing the cannabis.
“And oftentimes it’s to export out of state into places where it’s still illegal because the marijuana that might cost, let’s say $3,000-a-pound here, may cost as much as $4,000- to $6,000-a-pound somewhere else.
“Probably one of the biggest fallacies about the regulation or the legalisation of recreational marijuana is that the illegal activities will go away when in fact, when you look at all of the states – and we’ve done comparative analysis with other places – all of the places that have allowed recreational marijuana, have seen increases in the illegal activities.