California Debates Cutting Taxes on Cannabis

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Justin Calvino displays marijuana grown on one of his properties in Mendocino County, California on April 19, 2017. (Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

California grows a lot of pot. As in 13.5 million pounds. But much of it remains on the black market, despite recreational cannabis becoming legal in 2018. The lawmakers behind Assembly Bill 286 hope to change that by reducing California's 15 percent cannabis excise tax to 11 percent. A similar bill failed to pass last year when opponents argued that it was too soon to know if taxes were driving people to the black market. Now a year into licensed sales, the legal cannabis market hasn't performed as industry officials had hoped. Do you think the state should cut its cannabis tax? Why or why not?


David Downs, California bureau chief,; author, "The Medical Marijuana Guidebook: America's First How-To Guide for Patients and Caregivers"