Making a sale

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at

These weed taxes are killing me. I mean, not literally. Weed saved my life. But still, though. What can I do?

—Bill Yonaire

I feel you. After the excise tax, the cultivation tax, the state tax, the city tax and the weed tax, a $40 bag of weed can end up costing damn near $60. Why buy from a dispensary when someone from the “traditional” market will sell you a $40 bag of weed for $40?

It seems that a few state officials, including State Treasurer Fiona Ma, have finally started to figure it out. On January 28, lawmakers introduced The Temporary Cannabis Tax Reduction Bill (Assembly Bill 286), which would reduce the excise tax from 15 percent to 11 percent and completely eliminate the cultivation tax. If this bill passes, legal cannabis should be a bit cheaper, although probably not cheap enough to compete with prices in the black market. Still, this is a step in the right direction. Call your legislator and tell them to support this bill.

However, high taxes aren’t the only reason that California’s cannabis sales are not meeting projections; the latest report says they were short by about $100 million. The biggest problem is that too many cities and counties are still refusing to allow cannabis-based businesses. According to recent reports, cannabis-based businesses are allowed in only 25 percent of California cities and counties. This is especially hard on the people who had cannabis businesses in cities that have chosen to continue with their outdated prohibitionist policies. If you had a small but profitable medical grow in Placer County, you are now an outlaw. Congratulations! Never mind that Proposition 64 passed in Placer County with more than 60 percent of the vote. IMHO, any city or county still prohibiting cannabis is doing themselves a disservice. Apparently, we still need activists.

Shout out to you, bro. I’m a licensed pot grower. I’ve got top-shelf cannabis, cannabis extracts, concentrates and shrooms. I disguise my packages for shipping, 100 percent safe. Would you like to place an order to get some? For faster and safer communication, we can communicate through WhatsApp.

—Name redacted

Bruh. What in the entire actual fudge? Don’t do this. Offering large amounts of drugs to strangers on the internet is a bad way to make friends, and a good way to get arrested. Shipping cannabis across state lines (even if both states have legalized weed) is a federal crime. Possessing magic mushrooms is a felony in most states, although Oregon is working to decriminalize mushrooms as we speak. Maybe I’m old, but back in my day, you had to know someone for a while before you offered to sell them large amounts of drugs. Besides, from certain clues in your message, I’m guessing you live in Colorado. Why would I want to risk a federal indictment over some Colorado mid-grade? California has the best weed in the world. Step your game up.