New marijuana taxes that go into effect January may increase prices, but probably will not reduce marijuana consumption, said several policy experts and dispensary staff.
California voters approved Proposition 64 in November 2016, allowing residents over the age of 21 to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants. The proposition also allows businesses to sell marijuana starting in January.
Steven Davenport, a UCLA alumnus and policy researcher for the RAND Corporation, a think tank based in Santa Monica, said he thinks marijuana prices will rise during its first year of legalization.
Davenport, who has worked on the Liquor and Cannabis Board in the state of Washington, which legalized marijuana in 2012, added he thinks prices will drop once the market stabilizes.
“In Washington, for example, prices started as high as $25 per gram because the state did not start with enough growers and did not have enough supply,” Davenport said.
The black market price for an eighth of an ounce of marijuana in California is about $20, compared to about $50 in dispensaries, according