Bloomberg Law
May 8, 2023, 11:00 AM

Illicit Cannabis Is Worsening California Water Woes: The Dose

Kim Chipman
Kim Chipman
Bloomberg News

We’ve reported on how California’s illicit pot market has hurt the heavily taxed and regulated legal market. Expanding on that, agriculture reporter Kim Chipman this week follows up on her earlier reporting about water theft in California (see here) to look at how the industry is contributing to the state’s shortages.

Running dry

California’s stubbornly persistent illegal cannabis industry isn’t just undercutting the legal market — it’s also behind some of the world’s most blatant water theft.

The state’s estimated $8 billion underground marijuana industry consumes staggering volumes of the precious resource, despite the state legalizing recreational use back ...

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