LOS ANGELES (AP) — The recent slayings of six men at a remote desert crossroads have brought to light a deeply rooted issue in California – the thriving underground marijuana market that persists despite years of legal sales aimed at eradicating it.
Authorities believe the killings, which occurred last week, were a result of a souring illegal cannabis deal, shedding light on the ongoing challenges faced by the state. Despite the legalization of marijuana sales, an illicit market continues to flourish, with repercussions extending beyond mere legal boundaries.
This tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the violence associated with illicit cannabis activities, including unlicensed cultivation, bold robberies targeting legal establishments, and clandestine shipments to vendors outside the state.
Dispensary owner Jerred Kiloh, also the head of the United Cannabis Business Association, a Los Angeles-based trade group, commented on the escalating violence. Kiloh stated that many members of the organization have experienced multiple robberies at their dispensaries, sometimes perpetrated by the same criminals.
“The violence is getting worse. The stakes are getting higher,” Kiloh expressed, emphasizing the urgent need for action. Despite acknowledging the problem, he lamented that insufficient measures have been taken to address the escalating challenges posed by the persistent underground cannabis market in the state.
This story was originally covered by AP News.