Recreational marijuana has been legal in California for five years, but red tape and local resistance have made business tough for legal growers and sellers. Meanwhile, the illicit market is thriving. Earlier this summer, the state formed a new department to streamline regulations and enforcement.
“As we see large numbers of local jurisdictions not participating in the [legal] market, between those local jurisdictions and the stance of the federal government, we're going to continue to grapple with an unregulated market. And that's going to continue to be a persistent challenge,” says Nicole Elliott, director of the California Department of Cannabis Control.