Outcries to defund the police in response to police brutality show no signs of decreasing. Federal agents deployed in Portland this past week demonstrate relentless unrest. An increasing group of dissenters believes Americans can survive without the current funding to law enforcement. On July 19th, the defund the police message came to include the call to defund the Liquor Control Board by a member of the Washington State cannabis community.
Jim MacRae, the founder of Straight Line Analytics, published a blog on his website titled “Evidence that De-funding the WSLCB Would Yield a Windfall to the State of Washington.” Mr. MacRae believes that recent cannabis market trends indicate that defunding LCB enforcement would result in increased revenue for cannabis business owners.
What Evidence Supports Defunding the LCB
The pre-tax sales numbers released last Friday were higher than those in April, despite already record numbers. This seems to indicate two things; existing customers are consuming more cannabis, and/or new cannabis consumers are entering the market and staying. This is not true for every state. The analytics show that Colorado and Nevada sales have decreased over last year.
Still, according to the WSLCB, the sales in Washington State are increasing. Sales were $108 Million in March, $115 million in April, and $125 million in May. This alone is the evidence that MacRae sites to support his defund the LCB agenda. “…the WSLCB has been largely absent from the job since the killer ‘Rona took hold of our society. When incompetent regulators step aside, incompetent regulation takes a break and capitalistic commerce can thrive.”
The Cannabis Community Responses
The cannabis community maintains strong ties, and although the views for the website are likely up due to controversial posting, no respondents supported MacRae’s hypothesis. MacRae posted to the 502Cannabis chat room and quickly received feedback. One member pointed out that sales in affluent areas are only marginally increased. Only sales in markets with lower socioeconomic status are up significantly.
This respondent cites stimulus checks and the additional $600s on unemployment are increasing access for customers. They go on to point out that, if the checks are not extended, we will see a drop in spending come August.
What This Means For You
The lack of LCB activity during a cannabis flower market drought raised concern for community members. “It’s really obvious that there’s tons of room right now to fudge lab results and to bring the black market product into the regulated market and pretend it was the product of a legal farm.”
If that hypothesis is correct, then cannabis grown without regulations will be entering the recreational market. Without supervision from the LCB, black market growers produce cannabis with the only yield in mind and not consumer safety. Dangerous pesticides and foreign continents could enter the market and grace retailer shelves. If we defund the LCB without reallocating responsibly, it’ll undoubtedly compromise consumer safety.