California cannabis delivery service Eaze recently issued a report looking at how many people in California are still sourcing their cannabis through the unregulated marketplace, and why. SF Gate broke down the report's numbers.
The report reveals that 84 percent of California consumers are "very satisfied" with the recreational cannabis program eight months after its inception on January 1, 2018. Yet an average of 18 percent of consumers are still obtaining their cannabis via the unregulated marketplace. (Northern California residents at 16 percent, Southern California at 21 percent.)
They're doing so because of "lower prices" (90 percent), "lower taxes" (89 percent) and, surprisingly, "operating hours" (78 percent). And it's working for them, as 84 percent say they would return to this source for their cannabis needs.
The report also states that "a 5 percent reduction in the overall tax rate in California could move nearly a quarter of illicit market supporters (23 percent) to make only legal market purchases. Conversely, a 5 percent increase in the overall tax rate in California could drive nearly a third of exclusive legal market consumers (32 percent) to unlicensed sources." Seeing as how the rent is too damn high in every part of California, savings count.
Access is a factor, as Eaze reports: "1 in 6 California consumers (17 percent) purchased from an unlicensed source after state legalization due to local laws that restricted access to legal cannabis."
Those happy with their dispensary purchases report being "highly satisfied with labeling (85 percent) and testing (75 percent)."
A recreational cannabis program which failures to offer uniform access to all legal, of-age consumers statewide fails to take into account that doing so only feeds the unregulated marketplace. Reducing taxes, lessening the financial burden upon growers, processors, and dispensaries, and ensuring easy access to tested, certified products is the way you can avoid sitting on a futon waiting for Gary to weigh out your weed into a plastic sandwich baggie.