Good news for Californians who spent all of their money on marijuana

Both medical and recreational marijuana stores were open throughout California’s coronapanic shutdown. “Amid coronavirus pandemic, California gov classifies cannabis industry as ‘essential’ during state’s effective lockdown” (March 21, 2020):

Under a clarification document Gov. Gavin Newsom issued late Friday, all licensed marijuana businesses in California can continue with business as usual during an effective statewide lockdown implemented in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision to categorize cannabis companies as “essential” in effect provides an economic lifeline to the marijuana industry by allowing MJ businesses to keep their doors open.

The entire cannabis supply chain – including all state-licensed MJ businesses such as farmers, distributors, manufacturers and testing labs – also are considered “essential” under the state policy, according to Nicole Elliott, senior adviser on cannabis in Newsom’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

Elliott noted there’s no differentiation between “medical” and “recreational” cannabis companies, which means every licensed marijuana business that chooses to continue operations during the lockdown can stay open.

In a separate news release, the state Bureau of Cannabis Control said: “Because cannabis is an essential medicine for many residents, licensees may continue to operate at this time so long as their operations comply with local rules and regulations.”

What about Californians who didn’t pay their landlords because the CDC has thus far blocked evictions and it was more important to purchase “essential” marijuana? “California Has a Plan to Pay the Back Rent for Low-Income Tenants. All of It.” (NYT, June 21):

A $5.2 billion program in final negotiations at the State Legislature would pay 100 percent of unpaid rent that lower-income Californians incurred during the pandemic and would be financed entirely by federal money. The state is also proposing to set aside $2 billion to pay for unpaid water and electricity bills.

The state’s separate rental relief program would be available to residents who earn no more than 80 percent of the median income in their area and who can show pandemic-related financial hardship. In San Francisco, a family of four would have to earn less than $146,350 to qualify.

So if you’re a working class American in the Midwest, paying rent on an apartment and paying taxes to the federal government, your hard-earned dollars will go to bail out California stoners earning $146,000 per year, so long as those Californians said “I prefer not to” when their landlords asked them to pay rent.

From 2019, when it was legal to have an in-person class at a college in San Francisco:

And, since it is Pride Month, we can take Pride in the Eros club (reopened long before the San Francisco Public Schools because bathing with friends is “essential”?):

(Of course I am Proud to have been in the Castro (dinner with a patent litigator), but I merely walked by Eros and did not go in. So my Pride level is only at 10 percent.)

11 thoughts on “Good news for Californians who spent all of their money on marijuana

  1. You got me a-thinkin’. You’re probably correct that renters in CA who defaulted because of the pandemic were preferentially smoking marijuana (after all, what else is there to do when everything is shut down, you can’t go anywhere or be evicted but you have a roof over your head except toke up?) and therefore deserve to be compensated for their losses

    But what about the homeless? I think it’s probable their population skews toward harder drugs like fentanyl and crack, and they didn’t even have water bills to pay. In fact, many of them were probably homeless because the group above had kicked them out and didn’t want them in their apartments. They’re a buzzkill for sure.

    I think this program is woefully inadequate. California’s major cities need to do a careful survey of the estimated crack and fentanyl expenses per capita among the homeless population and compensate them for the money they had to pay to maintain their habit while living on the street during the pandemic, which prevented them from “moving up” – or at least back in.

    New York could run a pilot program in Washington Square Park.

  2. >>> but I merely walked by Eros and did not go in.

    thanks for clarifying & those guys don’t even mandate masks, such risky & reckless behavior!!

    • Karen: It is not risky & reckless if there is a naked close gathering of new friends who are protesting that Black Lives Matter.

  3. It’s manely good news for landlords that money printing is focused on rent rather than universal basic income. They can continue pushing rents higher.

    The lion kingdom figured the inflation from free rent & housing which has now pushed the median housing price in the middle of nowhere over $350,000 would get excluded from the government inflation statistics & stonks would lift off to 60,000 or 120,000.

  4. Give a man a fish, he eats for a day and will come back the next day; teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime and will teach others to fish.

    • @Phil, we need a new proverb:

      Give a man a basic free fantasy island, and he will come back asking for a better one, teach a man how to build a basic fantasy island and he will build his dream fantasy island.

      Question is, what will we run out of first “fantasy islands” or civilization?

  5. The marijuana business in California, or the Governor’s decision to keep them open, is in no way, shape or form connected or related to CA renters.

    So there’s really no point to this post. Especially since 22 other states have surplus federal funds that weren’t spent during the pandemic.

    • @Jim, I think you are amplifying original post’s point about “if you’re a working class American in the Midwest, paying rent on an apartment and paying taxes to the federal government, your hard-earned dollars will go to bail out California stoners earning $146,000 per year” Money that are not used could be returned to counter huge inflation tax on those in middle class and lower or at least stowed away for epidemic emergency fund and preparations: in CA pandemic response materiel was expanded and not replace during previous Obama – Biden administration for example. Not counting other people (“nobodies”) money in the past led to bleak today

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