Stories

California marijuana sellers contend with online black market

Marijuana displayed at a Los Angeles store on the first day of recreational marijuana sales in California. Photo: Christina House / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

"Craigslist for cannabis ... Online ads from unlicensed pot shops roil California market," AP's Michael Blood reports from L.A.

Why it matters: "The dispute over the online ads goes to basic economics for an emerging market sprung from what was mostly an illegal one: Lawful operators will struggle if they're competing with a robust black market that can undersell them."

  • "Weedmaps is a go-to website for people looking to find a marijuana shop."
  • "[L]egal and illegal operators advertise next to each other, and licensed operators in California say that's put them at a disadvantage in a cutthroat marketplace."
  • "Weedmaps operates in over two dozen states."
  • Duh: "Weedmaps says its experience dropping unlicensed businesses from its listings in Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Massachusetts had no impact on the size of those unlicensed markets."