ABC News Calls Arcata Marijuana Boomtown
Yikes. ABC News has an in-depth article on marijuana profits in, where else, Humboldt County, and how Arcata is basically marijuana central, home to weirdos and pot profiteers.
We're glad that Mary Spicuzza, author of the article published today on the ABC News website, noted that "tensions seem especially high" in Arcata due to the disagreements on the legality of such a highly profitable yet questionable industry. The article starts out describing Stephen Gasparas who owns the Arcata iCenter, and mentions that he makes about $100,000 from his marijuana business.
This surprises us, particularly because we are under the impression that it is not legal to turn a profit from medical marijuana, so it's interesting that Gasparas would reveal that he makes six figures and drives a brand new Toyota SUV. Are growers and dealers here so comfortable today that they don't even give a crap about the fact that growing pot for profit is illegal?
The article also discusses tax revenue from marijuana, stating that only $143 million in marijuana sales are reported annually statewide, netting $11.4 million in tax revenue. But conservative estimates of gross sales in Humboldt County alone are steady at $500 million, and Cal NORML even estimates that Californians grow/smoke/sell as much as $2 billion worth of marijuana each year. Where's the rest of the tax revenue? Oh right, there isn't any more, because the vast majority of marijuana growers and dealers in Humboldt County (and surely all of California) are actively evading taxes and dealing their cash crops to the highest bidders, especially out of state dealers. Then what do they do with their ill-gotten money? They buy fancy trucks and SUVs, of course.
So what happened to the feds? They rolled in and raided a fairly wimpy ring of suspected growers, somehow missing out on the half billion dollar industry that is largely criminal and illegal. Well, whatever. With articles like this getting national attention, it won't be long before they return...
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