Pot prices would sink if legalized in California, study says
SAN FRANCISCO — Legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in California would sharply drive down prices for the drug, causing more people to use pot while possibly undercutting the tax windfall that supporters have touted, according to a study published Wednesday.
The study by the nonpartisan RAND Drug Policy Research Center predicts that retail prices for high-grade marijuana could drop from $375 an ounce under the state’s medical marijuana law to as little as $38 per ounce if voters approve a November ballot initiative authorizing counties to license and tax commercial pot sales to adults.
“Right now, when individuals purchase drugs, they are paying for the drug dealer taking risks of being arrested,” said Beau Kilmer, the center’s co-director and the report’s lead author.
It’s unclear how Proposition 19 would affect the cashstrapped state’s budget.