How Californians View and Participate in the Legal Cannabis Market

California's Legal Cannabis Market

A recent survey conducted by the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) revealed insights into how Californians perceive and engage with the legal cannabis market in the state. The survey was part of the DCC’s Real California Cannabis campaign, which aims to educate consumers on how to identify and purchase cannabis from licensed retailers.

Legalization of Cannabis Has a Positive Impact

According to the survey, 62% of Californians believe that the legalization of cannabis has had a positive impact on the state. This is consistent with the results of Proposition 64, which was approved by 57% of voters in 2016. Proposition 64 legalized the recreational use, possession, cultivation, and sale of cannabis for adults 21 and over in California.

The survey also found that 86% of cannabis consumers believe it is important to purchase cannabis from the legal market, while 72% believe that consumers have a responsibility to ensure they are buying from a licensed retailer. These findings suggest that Californians value the benefits of the legal cannabis market, such as quality, safety, testing, taxation, and regulation.

Confusion and Challenges in the Legal Cannabis Market

However, the survey also revealed some confusion and challenges in the legal cannabis market. For instance, 85% of the respondents living in areas where retail cannabis is not allowed either incorrectly thought that cannabis retail was allowed in their area, or had no idea about the local laws. This indicates a lack of awareness and information about the local regulations and ordinances that govern cannabis sales in different jurisdictions.

California's Legal Cannabis Market

Additionally, 44% of the respondents said it was easy to identify if a retailer was licensed, while 42% said it was difficult to tell if a retailer was licensed or unlicensed. This shows that there is room for improvement in the visibility and verification of licensed cannabis retailers, especially in the face of the persistent illegal market that operates in the state.

Real California Cannabis Campaign

To address these issues, the DCC launched the Real California Cannabis campaign in February 2024. The campaign is designed to provide cannabis consumers with information and tools that empower them to make informed decisions regarding their cannabis purchases. The campaign also aims to support safer communities, local businesses, and the ongoing efforts to disrupt the illegal market.

The campaign website,, features a number of resources, such as:

  • A map of licensed cannabis retailers in the state
  • A guide on how to check the license status of a cannabis retailer
  • A list of benefits and risks of buying from the legal and illegal markets
  • A quiz to test the consumer’s knowledge of the legal cannabis market
  • A video series featuring real Californians who share their stories and experiences with cannabis

The campaign also uses social media, digital advertising, and outreach events to spread the message and engage with the public.

The survey conducted by the DCC offers valuable insights into how Californians view and participate in the legal cannabis market. The survey results highlight the positive impact of legalization, the importance of purchasing from the legal market, and the confusion and challenges that exist in the market. The survey also informs the DCC’s Real California Cannabis campaign, which seeks to educate and empower consumers to make smart choices and support the legal cannabis industry in the state.

By Amelia Brooks

Amelia Brooks is a seasoned senior content writer at CBD Strains Only, specializing in the cannabis niche. With a wealth of experience and a keen interest in the therapeutic properties of cannabis, Amelia brings a unique perspective to her writing. Her insightful articles aim to educate and inform readers about the latest trends and developments in the cannabis industry.

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