LA Times: Taxes and regulations are killing small legal weed farms California vowed to help
In place of handcuffs and prison sentences to deter cannabis cultivation, California has established a vast system of taxes, fees and regulations to control it. The taxes are steeper and the rules more onerous than those in other agricultural sectors. Small California cannabis farmers say they are increasingly impossible to comply with given the glut of weed on the market and the plummeting price per pound of wholesale pot.
“Are all the small farmers destined to fail? That’s our biggest fear,” a farmer said one recent morning. “It’s the War on Drugs Part II.”
In addition to paying cultivation and excise taxes, state licensing fees and other upfront costs, legal cannabis farmers have been forced to comply with intense tracking and testing regimens and an array of bureaucratic rules that dictate how they can farm their crop — some of which state officials have conceded are excessive and have begun to walk back.