Steve D’Angelo was prescient. As the era of legal recreational marijuana sales in California began just over a year ago, the East Bay medical marijuana maven expressed concerns that taxes on the newly legal industry were too high.
“It’s going to mean that a significant number of people, less affluent consumers, are going to turn to the lower prices of the underground market,” he told KPIX 5 on January 1, 2018, the day sales became legal in the state.
A year later, D’Angelo’s concerns have been borne out. The state had estimated that retail marijuana sales would exceed the $3 billion in 2017 sales, which came solely from medical marijuana outlets, but instead legal sales actually declined to $2.5 billion.