Sticker Shock With California’s New Marijuana Market

FILE--This April 21, 2011, file photo shows marijuana growing in the home of two medical marijuana patients in Medford, Ore. Oregon state officials have upheld local regulations blocking people from growing medical marijuana on property zoned for rural residential use. (AP Photo/Jeff Barnard, file)

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Consumers eager for the coming of California’s legal recreational marijuana market should be ready for sticker shock.

An array of new taxes and fees will be attached to pot sales next year, driving up prices.

For example, a small bag of good-quality medical marijuana in Los Angeles now runs about $35.

But in the legal recreational market next year, industry experts say the same amount is expected to ring up at the retail counter for $50 or $60.

At the high end, that’s a 70 percent boost.

Medical pot purchases are expected to jump in price too, but not as steeply.

Some fear bargain-hunting consumers will turn to the black market, undercutting efforts to establish the legal one.

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