Gov. Newsom Calls for Tougher Restrictions as California’s Illegal Pot Market Stifles Legal Sales

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.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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