Debby Goldsberry, Magnolia’s CEO, in East Bay Express

The Great Cannabis Crash of 2019, by Dan Mitchell

(East Bay Express)

Check out Debby’s quotes:

“The law is deeply flawed,” said Debby Goldsberry, executive director of Magnolia Wellness in Oakland and a longtime presence in the Bay Area cannabis industry. Because of this, she said, many of California’s small cannabis businesses have been closed or sold off to bigger companies. “And many people have chosen to operate in the underground marketplace, which has been thriving for 100 years in California, rather than to get involved in the complicated, near-impossible-to meet regulatory scheme.”

It is now widely agreed by industry observers that Proposition 64, through which voters legalized recreational pot in 2016, was deeply flawed. “Hindsight is a great place to live,” said Scott Hammon, cannabis practice leader for MGO|Ello, which provides accounting and advisory services to pot companies.

Not every flaw, though, can be pinned on any particular group of people — not even politicians. “The initiative contained compromise language right from the beginning,” Goldsberry said. “It was designed to assuage the concerns of nervous voters and to make sure that big businesses, like the alcohol industry, did not get upset enough to fight it. Some of these compromises lacked common sense, surely, but more so, there were few models to follow at the time, and the designers of the original laws and regulations knew they would need to stay flexible over a number of years to create rules that would really work.”

Unfortunately, Goldsberry continued, “the unseen side effect was that the underground market would continue to flourish and that the regulatory complications, and the fees and the taxes, would set the bar higher than most people, other than the biggest and most experienced companies. Lots of California small businesses are gone because of this.”…