Leafly is one of the many go to places online to locate marijuana dispensaries around the country. They have kept a large listing of unlicensed California marijuana dispensaries in their finder for a long time and now they have posted an article about how sorry they are to remove the illegal dispensaries and how difficult of a decision it was to make.
This was a difficult decision internally and one that we recognize may inconvenience some of our valued medical patients, adult-use consumers, and longtime dispensary partners. A key piece of Leafly’s mission is to help people find cannabis, and, as such, removing businesses isn’t a move we take lightly.
Since the state began issuing licenses, however, a steadily widening gap has opened up between state-licensed companies and those operating illegally. In February 2018, state regulators sent hundreds of letters to unlicensed businesses advising them to cease operation or risk criminal and civil penalties. Some reports have linked illegal shops to underage sales or other violations of state law, actions that Leafly does not condone.
While California’s rollout of legalization certainly hasn’t been perfect, Leafly supports the move toward a legal, regulated cannabis market. We also encourage regulators at the state and local levels to speed the licensing process and reconsider barriers to entry to the legal market so that all Californians can share in the benefits of legalization.
California has been the focus of marijuana in the United States for a long time, between their emerald triangle that is great for growing outdoor marijuana and its fractured laws concerning marijuana. The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 made California the first medical marijuana state, but a lack of enforcement of laws and unclear legislation allowed illegal marijuana producers to setup shops and sell marijuana existing within a gray area.
With the passage of Prop. 64 though, California is trying to clean up the infrastructure of legal recreational sales and also enforce the rules surrounding it, which means shutting down all unlicensed black market dispensaries. Do you think this should have been that tough of a decision for Leafly to make?