Pot Taxes Pick Up In California But Still Far Off Target

LOS ANGELES (AP) – When it comes to the taxman, California’s legal pot market is getting a sluggish start. Marijuana cultivation and excise tax collections hit $48 million between April and June, state officials announced Wednesday. That’s a jump from the prior three months but well below the windfall envisioned by the state. Finance officials had estimated California would bank $185 million from excise and cultivation taxes in the first six months of broad legal sales, which kicked off Jan. 1. But collections by midyear hit only $82 million, not even half of the estimate. The slower than expected flow of cash underscores the bumpy roll-out of the legal market. Illicit sales continue to flourish, taking sales from legal shops. Meanwhile, many areas have banned commercial pot activity.

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