When it comes to the taxman, California's legal pot market is off to a sluggish start.
Marijuana cultivation and excise tax collections hit $48 million between April and June, state officials announced Wednesday. That's a jump from the prior three months but well below the windfall envisioned by the state.
Finance officials had estimated the state would bank $185 million from excise and cultivation taxes in the first six months of broad legal sales, which kicked off Jan. 1.
But collections by midyear hit only $82 million.
"After six months of legal cannabis sales there is a staggering ... gap between today's tax revenue numbers and what voters were promised," said state Assemblyman Evan Low, a Democrat from Campbell who heads the Business and Professions Committee. "Regulators must adapt before California's lawful cannabis businesses are obliterated by the black market."