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Legal Weed Hurts Prognosis for California Medical Pot Market

For many Californians, illegality hasn't been much of an impediment to getting marijuana.

Posted: Dec. 28, 2017 7:05 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) - For many Californians, illegality hasn't been much of an impediment to getting marijuana.

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In the two decades since the state approved medical marijuana, it was an open secret that if someone was 18, they wouldn't have to look very hard to find a doctor to write a prescription for a real or imagined health issue requiring marijuana.

Now, with weed becoming legal for recreational use, that charade will end for many, and the medical marijuana industry could take a big revenue hit.

A study published this year by the University of California Agricultural Issues Center says revenue from the sale of medical marijuana is expected to drop from an estimated $2 billion in 2016 to about $1.4 billion next year.

The study says the legal sale of recreational marijuana should bring in more than $5 billion as recreational pot captures about 62 percent of sales while the black market retains about 30 percent.

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