California’s Hopes for Legal Marijuana Industry are Disappointed

Legal Marijuana IndustryYears before U.S. states began legalizing recreational marijuana, many people were arguing that the government should legalize marijuana and then tax and regulate it. The government would then be able to bring in heaps of cash. Their argument was that this would also be beneficial to the legal marijuana industry. It would suffocate the illicit market, and people would buy the legal product because the product sells itself.

For California, things have not quite turned out this way. There are many people still buying cannabis on the illicit market, due to steep markups and high taxes on legal shops. Local restrictions have also complicated things, according to survey data recently released from marijuana delivery service Eaze.

“Unlicensed retailers do not have to comply with worker protection laws, test products for pesticides and processing chemicals, or remit taxes,” said a report from the company outlining the findings. “That results in a large pricing benefit.”

The biggest takeaway from the survey was the difficulties of selling legal marijuana in the state, despite California representing the world’s biggest recreational marijuana market. According to Eaze’s results, one in five Californians has bought marijuana from the illicit market (encompasses anything from street sales to shops that don’t have their paperwork together) in the past three months.

Further, 84 percent of those customers are “highly likely” to go back to buying from a seller without a license. Why? People go back to buying from a seller without a license due to “the illicit market having cheaper products and no tax”, explains Eaze. In addition, 17 percent chose an unlicensed source “due to local laws that restricted access to legal cannabis”.

Will Cutting Taxes Provide Relief for Legal Marijuana Industry?

The data also suggests that a 5 percent cut in the overall tax rate in California could draw up to 23 percent of customers buying marijuana from unlicensed sellers into the legal market. Even more encouraging, 84 percent of Californians say they are actually “very satisfied” with the legal market. As far as consumers’ complaints with the legal marijuana business overall, the survey shows that:

    • 47 percent are dissatisfied with excessively high taxes (the most frequent issue)
    • 36 percent cited a lack of electronic payment options
    • And 32 percent listed “overpriced” products

Solution for the Legal Marijuana Industry

To help the legal marijuana industry address the second most cited issue, alternative lenders have been helping these business owners offer a wider range of payment options. Because marijuana is still very much illegal at the federal level, banks fear prosecution if they offer their services to the industry. High-risk processors like Marijuana Merchant Account have stepped in to offer electronic payment options.

As the industry continues to sort itself out – federal government, taxes, regulations – businesses can at least address one of the biggest issues. Offering safe, electronic payment processing ensures your legal marijuana business can offer a seamless and convenient customer experience.


Buying Cannabis in California

Marijuana Business FundingCalifornia constituents unanimously voted in favor of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), famous as Proposition 64 eventually becoming the 5th state to decriminalize recreational pot after Colorado, Washington DC, Oregon and Alaska. It also shouldn’t be forgotten that California was the first state to legalize medicinal cannabis and currently, (and it has been so from January 1, 2018), you can freely smoke your pot in marijuana as long as your use your weed within the law.

And now, gone are the tough days when you hastily purchased your weed from a backstreet peddler or in dimly-lit shops with the fear of Feds pulling over anytime. There’s good-quality legal cannabis in California. Any adult, 21 and over can now walk into one of the many officially authorized dispensaries or order for weed delivery. Today’s cannabis stores are more like any other store where several different product varieties are displayed for potheads or any newbie smokers to choose from.

Here’s what to look for.

  1. lndica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrids

While Indica comes with a more relieving and relaxing effect, Sativa leads to high energy levels and fosters creativity. Most times, an enjoyable mixture of the two is preferred, but all hybrids typically have one dominant species. In essence, most strains we have are hybrids due to the cross-breeding that has continued in cannabis genetics since the first experiments.

Indica has higher CBD levels responsible for relieving pain and anxiety than sativa does. Sativas often this has antidepressant-like effects.

  1. What’s the Smell?

One way to tell the quality of weed before purchase is to break the buds and sniff the scent that comes from it. Buds may smell like, skunk, gasoline or earthy tones. Moldy or strongly ammonia smell means that the buds weren’t correctly cured. Be sure to substantiate that the cultivator behind it is a trusted source.

  1. Blunts or G-bags?

Blunts are cannabis rolled just like cigarettes would be. However, they come in different sizes and therefore differ in price. G-bags come in measures of grams and are a “bulky” way of buying pot, which is way cheaper. Most times, bulk buying will save you money and give you the stoner’s prime pleasure of rolling your marijuana. Plus, you can’t trust all dealers; someone could be hiding their low-quality weed between rolling papers and selling you the same for a high price.

4.THC and CBD

CBD & THC are the two phytocannabinoids that constitute cannabis resins. Each has different medicinal advantages according to ratios used.

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) –high THC levels are used as an analgesic.
  • Cannabidiol (CBD) –reduces seizures in the body.


It shouldn’t be forgotten that there are some possession and use rules that should be adhered to until America fully legalizes cannabis (if it ever does).


Legalized Recreational Marijuana | What Are the New Regulations?

imgresEven if Jeff Session’s won’t give up his battle against decriminalization of recreational cannabis, at least the year set off with some good news for California. As of January 1, the state had legalized marijuana. Currently adults, 21 and above, can lawfully buy recreational marijuana in California. How about this for a change? You can nowadays fearlessly march into a dispensary or even have the pot delivered to your apartment without feeling paranoid.

Market experts keeping an eye on the cannabis industry have spotted it as an ever-growing enterprise. Soon, the likes of Sessions will lay down arms, especially now that it’s being embraced by many other areas like fitness and healthcare to culinary experiences. And now, we can only expect other states to join the weed party.

So far, six states have decriminalized pot and Massachusetts will soon join the group come July 2018. But the drug still has some restrictions to look out for; so before you light some pot, know what’s right! Confirm what you can and cannot do according to the Medical and Adult Use Cannabis regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA).

You don’t need a card to buy pot at a dispensary

The only official requirement is a legal government-issued ID showing you’re 21 or above. However, bear in mind that regulations vary by state— each has the right to lay down local rules governing cultivation, distribution, and sale of marijuana.

You pay tax when you buy the weed

The only exceptions are those with state-certified medical cards, which shouldn’t be confused with the medical recommendation from marijuana doctors. Every time you buy, you pay sales tax and use tax on top of your local tax.

Sorry, you still can’t smoke or carry cannabis anywhere you want!

It is still not legal to use your cannabis in public areas, as well as within 1,000 ft of an education or youth center. However, this nearness-to-children rule doesn’t apply if you’re baking your pot in a private house and the smell isn’t detectable. Plus, you can’t also drive while high drive or have an unsealed/open package of pot in your vehicle (unless kept on the car trunk).

Lastly, crossing state borders or flying with pot will expose you to a “possession of controlled substance’ lawsuit.

How much weed can be legally carried around?

Over 21s can carry 28.5g or an ounce of marijuana in flower forms. Or 8.0g of concentrate in oil, dabs or hash.

You can grow your marijuana, but with LIMITS!

Legally, you can grow up to 6 plants at a go on your private property. Growing is prohibited in open backyards if you reside near public spaces. It’s also illegal to sell or distribute your harvest.

In conclusion

The above laws apply to most if not all states, apart from a few tweaks each county can legally make to ensure further control of pot.


California Cities Unprepared for Legal Recreational Cannabis Sales Jan. 1

Marijuana Business FundingThe long-awaited day is right around the corner, but California is not as prepared as it should be for the start of recreational marijuana sales on January 1st. Both Los Angeles and San Francisco are struggling to put together local rules for cannabis shops and growers. The problem is that a delay in regulations could lead to limited options in many areas. This would be incredibly unfortunate, considering how many consumers are eager to ring in the new year with a legal cannabis purchase.

Thus far, California plans to treat marijuana like alcohol. Individuals 21 and older will be permitted to possess up to an ounce and grow six marijuana plants at home. On Jan. 1, the newly legalized recreational marijuana sales will be merged with the state’s medical marijuana market, which is experiencing stronger regulation. Recently published plans to regulate the two-decades-old medical marijuana market are the first since it was legalized.

This proposed plan details the standards for marijuana merchants that wish to be licensed by the state. The rules range from how late these cannabis shops can stay open to how much they will be allowed to sell each day. The final rules should be in place in time to start issuing licenses by January 1st – just in time for the rollout of legal recreational marijuana purchases.

While it sounds like things are moving steadily forward, there are some holes in the system. Specifically, how the cannabis will be moved from the field to distribution centers, on to testing labs and finally arriving at the retail shops themselves. The licenses to be issued in January are temporary, and plans have not been released on how the estimated $7 billion marketplace will be governed.

Obviously, a big problem considering the state is expecting to see as much as $1 billion in the first few years. Operators are concerned that this delay in nailing down the details could cause serious conflicts in various rules and laws to pop up down the road.

According to The Cannabist, “The state expects businesses that receive licenses will only work with others that hold them. But that has alarmed operators who wonder what will happen if their supplier, for instance, decides not to join the new legal market.”

Another huge obstacle for marijuana operators is that banks still refuse to work with them. Under federal law, marijuana remains very much illegal. As a result, these merchants have turned to alternative providers like Marijuana Merchant Account for their business funding and payment processing needs. Unlike their experience with a bank, merchants can secure the services they need with MMA in as little as 24 hours with minimal documentation requirements.

Meanwhile, Jan. 1 is fast approaching – ready or not. Cara Martinson of the California State Association of Counties recently admitted, “The bulk of folks probably are not going to be ready Jan. 1.”


Marijuana Tax Facts for California

480007355Marijuana is a big tax builder for California, and some new law changes can make it an even bigger tax booster. The tax in Prop 55 is not new, but is an extension of a temporary tax increase approved by voters in the last election when they voted for Prop 30. Prop 55 would extend that tax by 12 years, but only for Californians earning more than $250,000. It’s estimated the tax would generate between four and $9 billion a year for public schools, and $2 billion dollars a year for health care for low-income patients.

So, that’s good right? Right, but it could be more. And with more legal issues in the way it could be a long road before the numbers are met. However, it can be met with a major blow to another filter-tipped friend: The cigarette. Prop 56 would also help fund the state’s Medi-Cal program by hitting cigarette smokers where it hurts most – their wallets. The measure proposes increasing the tax on a pack of cigarettes from 87 cents by $2 to $2.87. So, it could be adding tax revenue to the state and help curb smoking.

But let’s be real: It probably will not totally cut out cigarette smoking. The cigarette tax in NYC is over $4, and people still buy them. But, legalized marijuana is a whole other game. Not only is it for those who want a stress reliever, but it is also for those with medical issues who want a natural remedy. And pot seems to be a great natural remedy.

Merchants still need to be careful, because even if these taxes are totally enacted, there will be even more strain on marijuana businesses. You need to make sure that your business is following the state laws, county laws, and city laws as they relate to your business. You also need to make sure that you have a marijuana merchant account provider that understands your industry. This not only can help save your business from violating any laws, but it can help it from losing money from a merchant account provider who doesn’t know how your industry works.

New Rules Have Los Angeles Dispensaries Scrambling Not To Close

Indoor Marijuana Grow Room with Plants in Soil Under LightsWhen it comes to marijuana dispensaries and their rules, it seems that anything goes with California’s law makers. The newest rules have dispensary operators scrambling to keep their doors open. While Californians have (for the most part) welcomed marijuana dispensaries to their communities, the state’s law makers have been unable to come to terms with the new industry, and have been unable to come to a conclusion on state-wide rules. That is, however, until a few weeks ago when Governor Brown signed new legislation in regards to the state-wide marijuana industry.

This new legislation affects more than just who can work in a dispensary, or more than rules regarding marijuana payment processing systems. This new rule brings forth licensure both – state and city – for dispensaries. The problem is that Los Angeles does not offer city-wide dispensary licensing. Oddly enough, thanks to the citizens voting for Proposition D in 2013, dispensaries are not legal in Los Angeles. These dispensaries only have “limited immunity… from prosecution” according to Prop. D. There are currently 1,500 or so dispensaries in the city of Los Angeles, and they are all at risk of closing.

So, what do you do if you are a marijuana merchant in Los Angeles? First off, don’t panic. Yes, it seems natural to panic. You’re operating a business that isn’t 100% legal on a city-wide level, and you may be afraid of what will happen. Well, thankfully, there is a state-wide legality for marijuana dispensaries. These new laws are a good thing, and they help better regulate the medical marijuana industry. Without these state-wide bills, local ordinances can make their own rules and regulations as they please. These new rules create a Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulations (sounds fancy, doesn’t it), and it will be operated under California’s Department of Consumer affairs. This helps better regulate the businesses – and gives consumers a place to formally complain if something goes wrong. It also helps further legitimize the often-controversial medical marijuana industry.

Typically, the biggest issues medical marijuana merchants have is locating a marijuana payment processor. However, Los Angeles dispensaries now have to worry about new state-wide regulations. The best thing that existing dispensaries can do is rely on the state laws, which look to protect both dispensaries and consumers.

Let us help you with Marijuana Payment Processing today!


The Momentum Needed to Legalize California

Marijuana Business FundingCalifornia was the first state to legalize medicinal marijuana, but has fallen behind in the efforts to legalize it for recreational use while Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska has successfully started selling and making profits from marijuana sales. It was thought undoubtedly that California would have been the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, but with California’s different campaigns and multiple population centers, it has been hard for everyone to focus solely on the marijuana legalization campaign. Here are a few things that it would take for California to legalize marijuana.

The most important and main step to take for California to legalize marijuana is to actually have the campaign be the main focus during the election. The last two elections had too many competing initiatives that refused to work together. Given, California has other initiatives such and education and healthcare that need to be addressed and many are not willing to unite together to spend their funding and time into a campaign that contradicts their belief system. It will take everyone’s resources and efforts to really get the marijuana campaign noticed in the state.

Let’s say the reform community unites and large contributors follow, the next step would be having money to fund the recreational marijuana campaign. It will be no easy feat, it took Oregon 4 million dollars in campaign spending to legalize the drug and that was a smaller state. It would take an estimated 18-20 million dollars to legalize marijuana in California and additional millions for behind the scenes spending. The signature requirement is much higher in California compared to other states and has more population centers around the state, which translates to more money needed to have stronger media campaigns in the population centers. Now, if the funding for the campaign were met, to successfully win the vote to legalize marijuana it will require a strong campaign team.

A strong campaign team will be needed that consists of California reform leaders and members from other successful campaigns that are willing to focus on the legalization of marijuana. If these groups of people got together then surely marijuana would be legalized. Join California’s marijuana industry by receiving marijuana business funding with Become a marijuana merchant and join the already thriving industry.

All hope is not lost for California in their pursuit to legalize marijuana. By chance, the California Legislature could even legalize marijuana before the election and save time and money in campaigning, but without relying on that, the listed steps would be needed to see legalization happen in the state of California. California is relentless in making change happen, if the 2016 election doesn’t prove to be successful, there will always be the years onward to fight to legalize their beloved plant.

Contact us today for Marijuana Business Funding options