In this modern era of legal marijuana in several states, consumers might find themselves wondering if the marijuana they are consuming was legally produced and sold.
Simply put, despite legalization, in states with legal marijuana, the illegal marijuana business is still booming. In California, much of the marijuana produced is not legally compliant, and also, a vast majority of it is being illegally exported to other states. In addition to illegally produced marijuana, many marijuana retailers operate without the proper permitting, or licensing, or in places where it is just not permitted.
Legalization Requires Regulation
In legalizing marijuana, one of the big selling points to voters in the states that have approved it, is the tax revenue legal marijuana had the potential to bring in. When marijuana businesses operate outside the regulations and state laws that permit them, those businesses can face severe financial penalties, as well as criminal charges.
However, although those regulations might make it more difficult and costly for marijuana businesses to operate, they are beneficial to the end-consumers. This is because those regulations, while driving up costs, generally make the products better by requiring testing, setting standards, and mandating strict labeling rules so pot consumers know what they are consuming.
Read the Label
The best way to know if the marijuana you are consuming is actually legal weed is to simply read the label on the childproof container. If the marijuana you purchased didn't come in a labeled or childproof container that informed you about where it came from and other things such as potency, there’s a good chance it's not compliant with state law. States with legal marijuana have strict packaging laws that require certain information on the label and a warning that the product is marijuana.
Fortunately, for pot consumers in legal marijuana states, the penalty for purchasing illegally produced or retailed pot may not much more than a slap on the wrist (so long as the size of the purchase is within state law possession guidelines). But the producers and retailers, getting busted growing, producing, or selling unregulated marijuana are likely to face serious criminal charges. Despite legalization, law enforcement are still authorized to raid illegal growing, and other, operations.