Before he was elected governor, Gavin Newsom was instrumental in legalizing marijuana for recreational use in California. Now, as he settles into office, he faces the challenge of fixing a system that has been slow to bloom.
Newsom has urged patience with sluggish growth in the number of state-licensed cannabis businesses, saying he expected that such a complex regulatory system would take at least five years to fully develop.
But a new report from the state Cannabis Advisory Committee on the first year of legal pot sales in California says there is a problem that requires urgent action: “Fragmented and uncoordinated” enforcement has allowed the black market to flourish, threatening licensed business with unfair competition.
“Lack of enforcement is creating a thriving environment for the unregulated ‘underground market,’ ” said the 22-member panel, which was appointed by former Gov. Jerry Brown.
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