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Hidden In Plain Sight: California Illegal Pot Market Booming

LOS ANGELES (AP) – California’s struggling legal cannabis industry is expected to grow next year to $3.1 billion, but it remains far outmatched by the state’s thriving illegal market. A report released Thursday finds consumers are spending roughly $3 in the state’s underground pot economy for every $1 in the legal one. California kicked off broad legal sales in 2018. But hefty tax rates and illicit sales are blamed for slower-than-expected activity in the new market. The report by Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics projects sales in California – the world’s largest legal pot market – will grow 23% this year. But those figures projecting robust growth don’t square with reports from many businesses that say they are struggling to keep their doors open.