California’s legal marijuana market could be worth $5 billion

(By David Downs)

Experts predict that California could soon create a new market worth more than $5 billion once the state’s recreational pot industry is fully operational.

A study by the University of California Agricultural Issues Center suggests that a legal marijuana market could generate said revenue once cannabis is regulated and taxed at 15 percent of its retail value, reports the Los Angeles Times.

“We projected that when legally allowed, slightly more than half of the demand currently in the illegal adult-use segment will quickly move to the legal adult-use segment to avoid the inconvenience, stigma, and legal risks of buying from an unlicensed seller,” the study says.

According to government estimates, the voter approved or Prop 64 initiative to establish recreational pot sales could bring the state and local municipalities $1 billion in tax revenue, while providing more than 1,200 new jobs in the field.

Despite the positive prediction, the study also suggests that a black market could still exist after a regulatory commission is established.

“It’s going to take some time,” said Lori Ajax, director of…

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